Alaska does allow intending growers to cultivate marijuana within the state. However, per 3 Alaska Administrative Code (AAC) 306.400, no one can cultivate marijuana in Alaska without a state-issued marijuana cultivation license. All legal cultivation activities must be conducted within fully enclosed and secure greenhouses or indoor facilities, and such facilities must have rigid walls, doors, and roofs. These facilities must be restricted from public access. Where a local jurisdiction permits outdoor marijuana cultivation, a cultivator must only grow marijuana on cleared ground encircled by a physical barrier of at least six feet high or in non-rigid greenhouses. Marijuana cultivation facilities growing cannabis outdoors in Alaska must always ensure that the public cannot have a view of any marijuana or their cultivation activities from outside their facilities. The state authority prohibits licensed marijuana cultivators from selling, transferring, or distributing marijuana or marijuana products to consumers.
In Alaska, the following types of marijuana cultivation licenses are issued to businesses that engage in legal cannabis cultivation:
Standard Marijuana Cultivation License - This license authorizes its holder to cultivate, harvest, package, store, and label marijuana. At the initial stage of operations, holders of this license can plant any number of immature plants and possess any number of seeds for cultivation. They can also grow 12 or fewer mature, non-flowering marijuana plants and use them as mother plants. A standard marijuana cultivation license permits a business to sell marijuana to licensed marijuana product manufacturers, licensed retail cannabis stores, or other licensed cultivators. It also allows them to transport marijuana in compliance with laid down rules. They can conduct in-house testing for their facility's use and also provide samples to licensed marijuana testing facilities for testing
Limited Marijuana Cultivation License: This license is issued to a business to perform the same activities as a licensed standard marijuana cultivation facility. However, license holders are limited to no more than 500 square feet of cultivation area
Generally, only adults 21 years and over can legally own marijuana cultivation facilities, grow marijuana, and work on marijuana cultivation farms in Alaska. Per 3 Alaska Administrative Code 306.425, a cultivation licensee must obtain a marijuana handler permit before growing marijuana. Similarly, a person must secure a marijuana handler permit before being employed or allowed to work in a marijuana cultivation facility. Marijuana cultivation farm employees must always have their handler permit cards on them whenever on the cultivation farm. Alternatively, the facility can keep valid copies of the cards on file on the premises.
According to 3 AAC 306.010(d), a person convicted of a felony within the past five years cannot own a marijuana establishment in Alaska, including a cultivation facility. Also, the state will not issue a marijuana cultivation license to an individual who is found guilty of selling alcohol to a person under 21 years of age or selling alcohol without the requisite license. Anyone guilty of a misdemeanor crime involving the use of a weapon, controlled substance, dishonesty, or violence against another person within the preceding five years cannot obtain a marijuana cultivation license. However, the Alaska statute is silent on whether persons guilty of these offenses qualify to work on cultivation farms. It only mentions agents, which may not necessarily imply all classes of employees.
Before applying for a marijuana cultivation license in Alaska, confirm that the local community where you intend to operate permits commercial cannabis activities. The Alaska Marijuana Control Board (MCB), which oversees cannabis activities and issues all marijuana business licenses in the state, including cultivation licenses, maintains a spreadsheet listing communities that have opted out.
Alaska marijuana cultivation license applicants must initiate their applications online. The Board provides the myAlaska portal for any business interested in applying for a marijuana business license. However, the portal requires a new user to register for a myAlaska account before initiating an application. A cultivation license application must include all prospective licensees. All shareholders, officers, partners, and members must be involved in the online application if the applicant is a business. If that business has a parent entity, all members, officers, partners, and shareholders of the parent company must be included in the online application. After initiating the application online, the applicant must complete the following supplemental forms:
A marijuana cultivation license applicant in Alaska must also provide:
An applicant must submit fingerprints with their application as part of the application process. They can use any state-approved fingerprint agency to record their fingerprints. The MCB submits fingerprints and fees to the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) to obtain criminal justice information reports on applicants. Once the applicant submits their initial online application, the system will automatically produce a cover sheet, advertising notice, and public notice. The applicant must complete the cover sheet and submit it alongside all completed supplemental forms to the MCB via email, using the license number generated in the initial application as the subject. Each document should be attached to the email as a separate document (do not attach all forms as a single document).
A marijuana cultivation license applicant must pay the required application and license fees, without which the MCB will not consider their application. The completeness of an application and the volume of applications received by the MCB usually determine the time it takes for the Board to consider an application.
The cost of obtaining a marijuana cultivation license in Alaska includes application fees, license fees, and fingerprints fees, although the MCB remits fingerprint fees separately to the DPS. The MCB charges a $1,000 application fee for a standard cultivation license and a limited cultivation license. The cost of obtaining fingerprints at a state-approved fingerprinting agency is $48.25 for each person included in an application. If applying for a standard marijuana cultivation license, an applicant must pay $5,000 as a license fee. On the other hand, a limited marijuana cultivation license applicant pays a $1,000 license fee.
An Alaska marijuana cultivation license is valid for one year, after which the licensee must renew it to continue growing marijuana legally. Standard cultivation license holders and limited cultivation licensees pay $7,000 and $1,400, respectively, as license renewal fees. The MCB accepts money orders, cashier's checks, checks, and cash for marijuana license-related payments. However, applicants/licensees opting for cash payment must do so in a particular way set by the MCB.
In Alaska, a marijuana cultivation license holder can also apply for and obtain a retail marijuana store license, marijuana product manufacturing license, or both. However, a cultivation licensee who owns a manufacturing license, retail store license, or both, must conduct each marijuana activity in a room separate from any other operation. A secure door must divide the rooms from each other if they are co-located or connected.
A marijuana cultivation license holder in Alaska cannot apply for or obtain a marijuana testing license. They must not have a direct or indirect financial interest or an ownership interest in a licensed marijuana testing facility.