JUNEAU — Juneau officials have approved the city's first conditional use permit for a marijuana business, despite calls for them to wait until the Juneau Assembly decides on an outstanding marijuana ordinance.
The Planning Commission approved the permit on Tuesday for June Hall and Paul Disdier to start running Fireweed Factory on their property, The Juneau Empire reported.
The grow operation will be in a building no larger than a two-car garage and will be located behind trees and an existing shed. Hall and Disdier will use a closed-loop system, which means that all the water and air used to grow the marijuana will be recycled.
"This operation is state of the art. It's top of the line; it's right there with the best of them," James Barrett, who co-owns a marijuana business, said during public testimony at Tuesday's meeting. "From an industry standpoint, this is an awesome setup."
While most people testified in favor of the grow operation during the meeting, Todd Boris said he was concerned that the commission was deciding on the permit while there is still a marijuana ordinance waiting to be heard by the Assembly.
"We can all just go at a slower pace and make sure the process is right," Borris told the commission.
The commission ultimately decided to approve the permit, but not without taking steps to ensure the grow operation would comply with regulations that Assembly members might add. Commissioners also made sure they would be able to reconsider the permit if any substantial changes are made to the ordinance.