On Tuesday, Alaska became the first state to authorize marijuana consumption at permit-holding businesses. Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer signed a bill that puts the Land of the Midnight Sun in the company of Denver, West Hollywood, Oakland, and San Francisco — a small group of municipalities that allow its residents to toke up in certain designated establishments.
Alaskan businesses will be able to start applying for the permits on April 11, and local governments will have the power to restrict or veto the new regulations. Businesses will be responsible for taking the proper security measures and installing adequate ventilation. Consumption areas will need to be separated from retail space by a wall, or located on an outside patio. It is estimated that residents and visitors will be enjoying smoking lounges and other cannabis hang-outs by the middle of July.
The development sounds dreamy for all those who fantasize about trips to the north featuring a cannabis stop before a tundra trek, but NORML’s executive director Erik Altieri explained in a press release that the significance of this decision is hardly limited to tourism.
“By preventing retail outlets and other venues from being licensed and regulated for social consumption, many patients