Cannabis and tobacco are in front of the Ketchikan City Council on Thursday.
The state recently approved rules that allow on-site consumption of marijuana at retail stores that have permits for that activity. Individual communities can opt out, though, and the council will talk Thursday about whether to do that.
The discussion item was placed on the agenda by City Council Member Judy Zenge.
Also Thursday, the council will discuss its two-store cap on cannabis retail shops within city limits. There are currently two marijuana stores in the city, both downtown. A member of the public asked on April 4th for that cap to be revisited. Council Member Mark Flora placed the discussion item on the agenda.
In other matters, the council will talk about whether to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21. A member of the public asked the city to consider that change, and Council Member Janalee Gage placed the discussion item on the agenda.
Such a rule would apply only within city limits, unless it also was adopted by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. In a memo, Ketchikan Police Chief Joe White writes that the state currently conducts compliance checks on tobacco retail businesses and enforces the state age limit of 19.
The state would not enforce a community-based age limit of 21, he writes, so that would fall upon local law enforcement. White writes that it would require additional staffing.
In a separate memo, City Manager Karl Amylon suggests that the council refer the item to the city-borough Cooperative Relations Committee before moving forward. If such a change is approved in the city only, Amylon notes that people under 21 would still be able to purchase tobacco items outside of city limits.
Thursday’s council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers in City Hall. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.