The local Marijuana Advisory Committee talked Monday about a possible six-month moratorium on commercial marijuana in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, but took no action on that issue.
Committee Member Alan Bailey, who also is a member of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly, spoke in favor of such a delay. He says the regulations that the State of Alaska is creating for a marijuana industry keep changing, and he’d prefer to wait and see how it all pans out.
“I always like learning lessons from others’ mistakes… To put this on pause, to be able to watch what happens in the other communities, such as Juneau and Anchorage. I would very much like to see what happens. What are the benefits, what are the downfalls?”
Bailey says he’s not trying to circumvent the voters; he just wants more time to make better decisions for the community.
Committee Member Dave Timmerman, who is a Ketchikan School Board member, says the state regulations that he’s seen all provide a stringent set of rules for marijuana businesses to follow. He says those regulations will do most of the work when it comes to limiting commercial pot.
“I think you’re going to see professional businesses develop business plans and put this into place. This isn’t some hokey mom-and-pop thing you can do on the corner and sell trinkets. You have to really have your stuff together to run this business. Any one of these businesses.”
Committee Member KJ Harris, also a Ketchikan City Council member, says that if the community doesn’t regulate marijuana and products made from it, the general public will just continue making its own.
“For the first time in my life, I tried combining marijuana with butter and coming up with cannabis butter. It worked OK. Remember, I’m not a scientist. If you don’t regulate it, I’ll be the one in town, amongst the others, that will be making all these edibles and all these kind of things. If you regulate it, at least you’ve got it coming out of a factory, coming out of – you know. It’s labeled. It’s legal.”
The committee adjourned without voting on any recommendations. Members discussed a possible excise tax on marijuana, but in general agreed that the issue would be better addressed by the Borough Assembly-City Council cooperative relations committee.