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From Doobie Depot to Mood Solutions, here are Alaska's first marijuana business applicants

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published March 15, 2016

From Herbal Outfitters LLC to Dazed Dog Gardens, there's no shortage of creative and pun-laden business names in the nearly 200 marijuana business licenses that are currently working through the state system, which were released Tuesday.

The public can now see all the in-progress marijuana business applications on the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office's website. For businesses that are far enough along in their applications, a public notice is also linked in the spreadsheet that provides the name of the owner and the exact location of the business, according to Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office Director Cynthia Franklin.

Alaskans have chosen a wide range of names to represent their potential cannabis businesses. Some are obvious plays off of marijuana or its effects: names like Calm n Collective, Leafy Enterprise LLC and Cannaceuticals.

Others are not so obviously cannabis-related, like Permafrost Distributors, Alaska Precision and Wolverine LLC.

Babette Miller, co-owner of Doobie Depot, said her husband Louis Miller came up with their business name while they were brainstorming one day. "I didn't like it at first and then it grew on me and now I really like it."

Although they applied on the very first day, Miller said she and her husband would likely not be going through with a retail license in Anchorage after all.

Between the additional regulations and fees put in place in the municipality, and federal taxes, the business venture just didn't pencil out, Miller said Tuesday.

If the couple does decide to open a marijuana business, it would be a cultivation facility farther north, in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, where there are fewer regulations and fees in place. Even then, Miller said, the business could be "a wash," but they would at least get their foot in the door as the industry starts.

In the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Green Degree owner Kerby Coman is moving forward with his plans to open a retail store and limited cultivation facility.

"We plan on being ready and opening doors, I believe September the 9th," Coman said from Wasilla Tuesday.

"I ran through a lot of names with my fiancee … Green Degree just stuck," Coman said of the business name. They wanted a name with "green" in it, and Green Degree could have different meanings, giving them options when working out a logo, Coman said.

On Tuesday, Coman was working on renovations to a building he has leased just outside of Wasilla city limits.

The borough will vote in October whether to ban commercial marijuana, but Coman is moving forward regardless. It's "something to consider, but I'm not worried about it," he said.

Statewide, a total of 195 licenses are in process, with none completed so far, the list shows. Some businesses are applying for multiple license types. A few of the businesses have two applications in for the same license type.

Alaskans can apply for four different license types: Cultivation, retail, testing and manufacturing. There are subcategories within cultivation and manufacturing licenses -- for instance, one can apply for either a standard cultivation license, with unlimited growing space, or a limited license, with 500 feet or less of growing space.

So far, applications for standard cultivation licenses are the most common. Testing facilities are the least common, with only three applications in as of Tuesday morning. Going forward, the state will update the list every two weeks, Franklin wrote in an email.

The Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office began accepting marijuana license applications on Feb. 24. The office reported that 68 licenses were started on the first day.

Once completed, all licenses must be approved by the Marijuana Control Board. Cultivation and testing facilities will be approved first, likely at the board's early June meeting, according to an updated timeline released last month. Retail and manufacturing stores are slated to be approved in September, with the rationale being that the state's first legal commercial crops must be grown before consumers can actually purchase marijuana.

The list of applications is another step forward in the state's move toward a commercial marijuana industry: last week the office announced it had signed a five-year contract with a company that will track every single commercial marijuana plant in Alaska. Meanwhile local governments across Alaska are making their own rules regarding cannabis.