A reader wonders if he'll be able to make a little green on the side once Ballot Measure 2 takes effect on Feb. 24, the day personal gardens containing six cannabis plants, three mature, will be allowed for Alaskans over 21 years of age.
Larry asks, "I am wondering after the law takes effect, will I be able to grow and sell clones to those folks who won't be able to get seeds or plants of their own?"
For folks who may not know the lingo, a "clone" is a cutting taken from a larger marijuana plant, known as the "mother." The cutting then goes through a process to make it grow roots and eventually become its own plant, a genetic duplicate of mom. Among other advantages, it's a way to accelerate the growing process because it gives a head-start compared to starting from seed.
Unfortunately for you or your potential customers, Larry, the answer is no. Because the law allows personal gardens, you will be able to grow a small number of clones for personal purposes, but you won't be able to sell them. You also won't have a way to legally purchase starters for any mother plants.
Sales of marijuana plants or buds or anything else will not be permitted until the state sets up a regulatory framework for retail sales. State officials have said that commercial transactions involving marijuana will remain illegal until the system is set up and permitted stores open their doors, which regulators say should be before May 24, 2016. But between Feb. 24 and then, it will be illegal to purchase or sell marijuana, including clones, even though limited possession and personal growing will be legal.
Until the initial regulatory process finishes, it will also be unknown what criminal or civil penalties will be for unlicensed sales or which agencies will be responsible for enforcement.
The new law does allow people over 21 to give each other up to an ounce of marijuana, and up to six immature plants, but giving stuff away without remuneration doesn't seem like a sustainable business practice.
Naturally people are free to take their own risks, and running headlong into legal contradictions is what marijuana's quasi-legal status in Alaska has asked people to do for quite some time. But for some businesses, the risk may be too great.
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