Cannabis legalization in Alaska
Alaska has been a consistent leader in the reform of cannabis laws: medical cannabis was approved by Alaska voters in 1998—but before that, the plant was already decriminalized following a state Supreme Court ruling in 1975 that found the possession of small amounts of cannabis was protected under citizens’ right to privacy. Then, in 2014, voters opted in favor of full legalization (making Alaska the fourth U.S. state to legalize), and its adult-use market officially launched in late 2016.
Alaska has also proven to be a national leader on the issue of social cannabis use after becoming the first state to establish statewide regulations for licensed consumption clubs/cannabis cafes.
There is no statewide excise or sales tax on cannabis products in Alaska—although some jurisdictions have added a local excise tax of 3-5%—but Alaska cannabis operators pay a wholesale tax rate of $50 per ounce for flower, $25 per ounce of immature or “abnormal” flower, $15 per ounce of trim, and $1 per clone.
Additionally, Alaska recently doubled the potency limits for infused edibles—from 5mg of THC to 10—so as to better match regulations in other legal states.
Alaska cannabis possession rules
- Adults aged 21+ are allowed to possess up to an ounce of cannabis in Alaska.
- Gifting/exchange of cannabis is allowed between adults (up to one ounce of flower).
- Adults can also grow up to six cannabis plants at home.
- Public cannabis consumption is not allowed (including parks, playgrounds, and roads) but certain jurisdictions have licensed social use lounges/cannabis cafes.
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