Scott Woodham

“AKEngineer” is hoping for clarity on a source of confusion he or she discovered in close readings of the proposed regulations that will eventually shape Alaska's legal cannabis industry:

The ballot initiative specifically made it legal to give up to an ounce of marijuana to someone over 21. The proposed new regulations (appear to contradict the law and) make it illegal to give any amount “to a consumer” without purchasing a $5,000 license and going through a bureaucratic mess. Do regulations trump the law passed by the citizens? Or, if I give a friend a joint, is he/she not a "consumer"?...

Scott Woodham

As Alaska's Marijuana Control Board continues accepting written comments on the legal system that is taking shape, Tristan wonders, “Will people with criminal records be allowed to participate in the cannabis industry?”

So far, the answer is yes, but that depends on what we mean by “participate,” and what kind of criminal record we're talking about.

With the passage of House Bill 123 last session, which among other things created the MCB, the Alaska Legislature added a new paragraph to the initiative-created Alaska Statute 17.38.100, one that restricts people convicted of a felony within the past five years from being involved in a registered cannabis-related business.

The new bit, AS 17.38.100(i), reads thusly:...

Scott Woodham

Well, Alaska's Marijuana Control Board has released the third package of proposed regulations and held meetings in Anchorage on Monday and Tuesday . Regulators heard feedback and discussed the rules taking shape for Alaska's legal cannabis industry. Today, we'll look at a question related to some of those rules under development.

“Fishboy from Juneau” asks: “Will extracts like BHO (Butane Hash Oil) and shatter be available for us Alaskans? What do the laws look like surrounding concentrates?”...

Scott Woodham

“Chilly Willy” asks Highly Informed this week, “Will I be able to barter, or trade for service, my legally grown weed? Will there be a safe and legal way for me to trade my bud?”

Willy is asking about personal-use herb, not any grown by proxy for a medical card holder, and not any grown by licensed commercial growers after they're established. While strictly speaking, trading goods or services for personal-use cannabis is not allowed according to the state, some circumstances might make enforcement or regulation difficult...

Scott Woodham

This week, a reader asks a question getting to the heart of an issue that will eventually need resolution as Alaska's attempt to structure its legal cannabis industry goes forward.

Other states that have legalized pot have roads leading more or less from every pot store to every potential customer. But a great many Alaskans live off the road system. They rely on small planes for travel and on air cargo parcels for practically everything, from construction supplies to bulk grocery items, and even alcohol.

Courtney asks, “Is it reasonable to expect that if my community in the rural part of the state 'opts out' of commercial cannabis, I will be able to order it like I can alcohol? I live off the road system in Bethel and we have a no-limit local option on alcohol.”...

Scott Woodham

Chris wonders after a previous Highly Informed column noted that alternatives to smoking cannabis aren't without potential risks: “I've been a daily user of edibles and am feeling like I've become allergic: runny nose, stuffed sinus, sneezing etc. Is this a possible side effect?”...

Scott Woodham

This week, Highly Informed will take on a question that may seem a bit absurd on its face but is actually quite interesting to consider.

Sometimes entertaining absurdity can be instructive, and sometimes (as with the famous quotation ascribed to Tertullian defending a core tenet of Christianity, "I believe it because it is absurd") it can serve as the basis for strong conviction.

With that in mind, Let's get to it. “Concerned Citizen” asks: “Dear Highly Informed, if morning conditions are right in the Anchorage bowl, would it be possible for an inversion to trap all the pot smoke and get the whole city high?”...

Scott Woodham

Thanks to everyone for having patience during Highly Informed's hiatus. We start back up this week with an intriguing question from “Lago Prano”: “I know authorities have been saying that selling pot is illegal, but what about buying it? Is the act of buying pot against the law if you don't buy too much?”

This question opens up a few interesting implications for anti-drug policy itself, but we'll keep the discussion focused on Alaska. The short answer is no; the very act of handing someone money in Alaska and receiving a legal amount of cannabis is not illegal for the person handing over the money...

Scott Woodham

"Foxweed" asks, “Now that pot is legal, there are undoubtedly many readers who have never really partaken much in the subculture. Sooner than we think, many options for smoking pot will become available, so how does one pot? I see talk of sativas and indicas , purples and reds and berries and kushes . Joints, bongs, pipes, vapes ? hash, dab etc. etc. I barely have beers and wines figured out here, help me out?”

Well, you're right, when cannabis finally becomes available for legal retail sale to adults 21 and over, the array of products will be dizzying for people who decide to check out the scene. But just like with beer and wine, you don't need to be an expert to find something you enjoy...

Scott Woodham

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