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Anchorage Assembly votes to include marijuana smoke in tobacco ban

  • Author: Devin Kelly
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published June 9, 2015

The Anchorage Assembly voted late Tuesday night to include marijuana smoke under the city's ban on tobacco smoke.

Within 90 days, businesses and building owners will have to amend "No Smoking" signs to include a reference to marijuana smoke, according to the measure adopted Tuesday.

The city has already enacted a ban on public consumption, which defines a public place as "a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access" and includes streets, highways, sidewalks, alleys, transportation facilities and parks and playgrounds. Many of the facilities outlined in the "secondhand smoking" measure are already covered by the ban on public consumption, according to the measure, introduced by Assembly Chair Dick Traini.

The current local law on tobacco smoke also extends to bars, restaurants and private clubs. It excludes private clubs not licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages and that are not places of employment.

Several people testified against the measure on behalf of Pot Luck Events, a local cannabis company. Much of the public testimony Tuesday night centered on a dispute between the company and its neighbors, which include a church and a foster care resource center, involving marijuana smoke and odors.

But after the meeting, one of the owners of Pot Luck Events, Theresa Collins, said the people working at Pot Luck Events are all part-owners, not employees. She said the measure wouldn't affect the business's operation.

In other business, the Assembly postponed a vote on a quasi-city agency's grant of $800,000 in public funds to a covered tennis court project at East Anchorage High School. Several Assembly members said they wanted more information about the finances and activities of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, after the authority's board approved the grant last month.

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Pot Luck Events as Potluck Events.

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