Policy Recommendations Alaska

2019 saw Alaska become the first state to permit onsite consumption at cannabis retail facilities, and several retailers were authorized to conduct this new business activity in January of 2020. Beyond that important change not much changed for patients in Alaska since the publication of our last report.4 The State board expanded on their previous establishment of sampling and testing regulations from 2018 by assigning themselves an oversight role for testing facilities in March of 2020.5 Accountability for those testing cannabis products can be helpful to the reliability of medicine for patients, as there is a decreased risk of an individual lab falsifying results for financial compensation from a producer. Curbside pickup and telemedicine were made available as an option to patients as a response to COVID-19, and those were the Marijuana Control Board's only 2020 modifications.6 As lawmakers prepare for the 2021 legislative session ASA recommends making modifications to Alaska's medical cannabis program to provide employment protections for patients, expand the number of plants registered patients are permitted to grow at home, and implement measures incentivizing or requiring cannabis cultivators, manufacturers and retailers to produce and make available to patients specific medical cannabis and cannabis products designed for medical applications.