Alaska’s Proposed Regulation for Onsite Consumption

The Marijuana Control Board is proposing to change and adopt regulations dealing with: Onsite Consumption

Here you will find the proposed regulations, as well as an easy to understand break down to help you create effective public comment and be an active participant in the Alaska Recreational Industry.

This set of proposed regulations contain a completely new section containing the rules that will be applied to all retail marijuana establishments providing an area for customers to consume marijuana and marijuana products.  This article will contain the actual released proposed regulation as well as a break down of what each of those regulations mean.

Intent:

3 AAC 306.370 Creates regulations to allow for an Retail marijuana licensee to apply for an onsite consumption endorsement, allowing for marijuana consumption in an area within or attached to the retail store.

3 AAC 306.990 proposes to define “marijuana consumption are” and “retail marijuana store premises”.

Proposed regulations are

306.370 Onsite Consumption endorsement for retail Marijuana stores.

(a) A licensed retail marijuana store with an approved onsite consumption endorsement is authorized to

 

(1) Sell marijuana and marijuana product, excluding marijuana concentrates, to portions for consumption on the licensed premises only in the area designated as the marijuana consumption area and separated from the remainder of the premises either buy being in a separate building or by a secure door and having a separate ventilation system;

 

(2) Sell for consumption on the premises

(A) Marijuana bud or flowers in quantities not to exceed one gram to any one person in a single transaction, unless prohibited by local ordinance or state law;

(B) Edible marijuana products in quantities not to exceed 10 mg of THC to any one person in a single transaction, and

(C) Food or beverages not containing marijuana or alcohol; and

(3) Allow a person to remove from the licensed premises marijuana or marijuana product that has been purchased on the licensed premises for consumption under this section, provided it is packaged in accordance with 3 AAC 306.345.

(b) A licensed retail marijuana store with an approved onsite consumption endorsement may not

(1) Sell marijuana concentrate for consumption in the marijuana consumption area;

(2) Allow any licensee, employee, or agent of a licensee to consume marijuana or marijuana product, including marijuana concentrate, during the course of a work shift;

(3) Allow a person to consume tobacco or tobacco product in the marijuana consumption area;

(4) Allow intoxicated or drunken persons to enter or to remain in the marijuana consumption area;

(5) Sell, give, or barter marijuana or marijuana product to an intoxicated or drunken person;

(6) Allow a person to bring into or consume in the marijuana consumption area any marijuana or marijuana product that was not purchased at the licensed retail marijuana store;

(7) Deliver marijuana or marijuana product to a person already known to be in possession of marijuana or marijuana product that was purchased for consumption on the premises

(8) Sell, offer to sell, or deliver marijuana or marijuana product at a price less than the price regularly charged for the marijuana or marujuana product during the same calendar week;

(9) Sell, offer to sell, or deliver an unlimited amount of marijuana or marijuana product during a set period of time for a fixed price.

(10) Sell, offer to sell, or deliver marijuana or marijuana product on any one day at prices less than those charged to the general public on that day;

(11) Encourage or permit an organized game or contest on the licensed premises that includes consuming marijuana or marijuana products or the awarding of marijuana or marijuana product as prizes; or

(12) Advertise or promote in any way, either on or off the premises, a practice prohibited under this section.

(c) An applicant for an onsite consumption endorsement must file an application form the board prescribes, including the documents and endorsement fee set out in this section, which must include

(1) The applicant’s operations plan, in a format the board prescribes, describing the retail marijuana stores plan for

(A) Security, in addition to what is required for a retail marijuana store, including:

(i) Doors and locks;

(ii) Windows’

(iii) Measure to prevent diversion; and

(iv) Measure to prohibit access to persons under the age of 21;

(B) Ventilation. if consumption by inhalation is to be permitted, ventilation plans must be

(i) Signed and approved by a license mechanical engineer;

(ii) Sufficient to remove visible smoke; and

(iii) Consistent with all applicable building codes and ordinances’

(C) Isolation of the marijuana consumption area from other areas of the retail marijuana store.  The marijuana consumption area must

(i) Include a smoke-free area for employees monitoring the marijuana consumption area; and

(ii) Be entirely outdoors in a designated smoking area or separated from other retail areas by a wall with a secure door;

(D) Unconsumed marijuana, by disposal or by packaging in accordance with 3 AAC 306.345; and

(E) Preventing introduction into the marijuana consumption area of marijuana or marijuana products not sold by the retail marijuana stores and

(2)  A detailed premises diagram showing the location of

(A) Serving area or areas’

(B)Ventilation exhaust points, if applicable

(C) Doors, windows or other exits;

(D) Access control points; and

(E) Adequate separation from non-consumption parts of the retail marijuana store and consistent with # C 306, 3709(a)(1).

(d) An application for a new onsite consumption endorsement must meet the requirements  of 3 AAC 306.025(b) and include in that notice the license number of the retail marijuana store requesting the endorsement.

(e)The non-refundable fee for a new or renewal for onsite consumption is  $1,000.

(f) The retail marijuana store holding an onsite consumption endorsement under this chapter shall

(1) Destroy all unconsumed marijuana left abandoned or unclaimed in the marijuana consumption area in accordance with the operating plan and 3 AAC 306.740;

(2) Maintain a ventilation system that directs air from the marijuana consumption area to the outside of the building through a filtration system adequate to reduce odor;

(3) Include in the security plan how the licensee intends to restrict access to the marijuana consumption area to persons under the age of 21;

(4) Monitor patrons for overconsumption ;

(5) Display all warning signs required under 3 AAC 360.360 within the marijuana consumption area, visible to all consumers;

(6) Provide written materials containing marijuana dosage and safety information for each type of marijuana product sold for consumption in the marijuana consumption area at no cost to patrons and

(7) Label all marijuana or marijuana product sold for consumption on the premises as required in 3 AAC 306.345.

(g) The right of local governments to protest the issuance or renewal of individual retail marijuana store onsite consumption endorsement is separate from the right to protest the issuance of a retail marijuana store license. Note later than 60 days after the director sends notice of an application for a new or retail onsite consumption endorsement, a local government may protest the application by sending the director and the applicant a written protest and the reasons for the protest. The director may not accept a protest received after the 60-day period. If a local government protests an application for a new or renewal onsite consumption endorsement, the board will deny the application unless the board finds that the protest is arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.

(h) A local government may recommend that the board approve an application for a new or renewal onsite consumption endorsement with conditions. The board will impose a condition recommended by local government unless the board finds the recommended condone to be arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable. If the board imposes a condition recommended by a local government, the local government will assume responsibility for monitoring compliance with the condition unless the board provides otherwise.

(i) The holder of an onsite consumption endorsement must apply for renewal annually at the time of renewal of the underlying retail marijuana store license.

Meaning:

(a) Once a retail establishment has proven to the board that it has completed all requirements, and has proven to the boards satisfaction that it can maintain a consumption area that meets all requirements, the board will issue the endorsement on their retail establishment license, then they may:

(1) Sell marijuana and marijuana products that are NOT concentrate to customers to consume in the retail establishments consumption area.  The consumption area must be completely separated from main retail store by a wall and a  securely closing door.  It may also  be unattached from the regular store completely.  The consumption area must have a completely independent ventilation system dedicated solely to the purpose of clearing the air of the onsite consumption area.

(2) The retail store may sell for consumption onsite:

(A) No more then 1(one) gram of flower or bud in a single transaction, as long as local laws don’t prohibit it.

(B) No more then 10mg of edible marijuana products

(C) food or drink that contains NO alcohol or marijuana

(3)allow customers to leave the consumption area with unfinished Marijuana as long as it is packaged within packaging regulations (3 AAC 306.345)

 

 

(b) A retail store with an onsite consumption endorsement may NOT:

(1) Sell any concentrates for consumption onsite.

(2) Allow a licensee, employee, or an agent to consume during the course of a shift.  (No lunch breaks in the consumption area)

(3) Allow consumption of tobacco in the consumption area.

(4) Allow drunk or intoxicated persons to enter or remain in consumption area.

(5) No supplying marijuana to an intoxicated person.

(6) Allow any marijuana or marijuana product that is NOT purchased in the retail store to be consumed in the consumption area.  (no bringing  marijuana from home to consume or share).

(7) Supply or sell  marijuana or marijuana product to someone that has already purchased for consumption purposes.  (no going back for “seconds”).

(8) No sales for onsite consumption only, if it isn’t on sale for regular customers, it can’t be on sale for customers planning to consume onsite. Both onsite prices and regular store prices must match throughout the week. (no Friday specials for consumption customers only).

(9) No happy hour or  “all you can consume for one price” deals.

(10) Again, same price for regular store customers and consumption customers. (do not promote consumption with smoking deals aimed at consumption only)

(11) No games or contests that involve smoking (e.g.: no bong pong), and no prizes that contain marijuana or marijuana product for any other games or contests that may take place.  (no prizes of a joint or cookie for winning the jackpot bingo game)

(12) No advertising or promoting in any place or in anyway, any prohibited acts that were listed in this section.

 

 

(c) To obtain an Onsite Consumption Endorsement  a retail establishment licensee must fill out an application the board will supply that contains:

(1) Operations plans describing the plans for:

(A) Security measures for:

(i) Door locks.

(ii) Window security.

(iii) Diversion plans.

(iv) Plans to keep minors out.

(B) If Smoking is to be allowed in the consumption area, ventilation plans must be.

(i) Signed and approved by a mechanical engineer.

(ii) Must be able to remove any visible smoke.

(iii)Must meet all local building codes and ordinances.

(C) The isolation from the regular store area requirements are:

(i) The consumption area must include a smoke-free area for any employees monitoring the consumption area.

(ii)The consumption area must be completely outdoors or have a wall completely separating the consumption area from the regular retail store area, and be accessed with a secure door.

(D) How unconsumed marijuana will be disposed of, and how it will be packaged for customers choosing to take it with them.

(E) Plans for how marijuana not purchased in the retail store will be kept out of consumption area.

 

(2)The application must include a detailed picture diagram showing the locations of

(A)  Serving areas.

(B)Ventilation exhaust, showing where the smoke will be exiting the building.

(C) Doors, windows, and any other exits.

(D) Access points, and how traffic will be controlled with them.

(E) Plans for adequate separation between consumption area and retail store.

(d) The application must meet all the same public notice requirements that a retail establishment must meet, and retail license number must be placed on the notice.

(e) Pay the $1,000 license fee, this is the same as the renewal fee.

(f) A retail store in possession of an onsite consumption endorsement must:

(1) Destroy any marijuana left by a customer as waste in accordance with

3 AAC 306.740 and following the the facilities operations plans.

(2) Have a ventilation system that sends the consumption areas tainted air outside with a filtration system strong enough to reduce odor.

(3) Have a security plan to keep underage people out.

(4)Monitor customers for overconsumption.

(5) Must have all warning signs displayed to be visible to all customers.

(6) Have written literature (pamphlets, fliers, or rack cards) for “how to” information on dosage and “how to consume safely” for each type of marijuana or marijuana product sold. These must be supplied free to all customers.

(7) Label all marijuana and marijuana products sold for onsite consumption according to the regulations in 3 AAC 306.345

(g) If a member the public would like to protest both the retail store and the consumption endorsement, they must do it in two completely separate actions.

Within 60 days of when the Director sends notices to the local governments is the timeframe the locals can protest.  To do so they must send the director and the applicant a written protest, if received outside of that 60 day window it may not be submitted for review by the board.

If a local government does protest a license, the Board will not approve the endorsement unless the request is found to be unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious.

(h) A local government may suggest conditions to be placed on an approval, and the board will put these conditions in place unless it is found to be unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious.  If the board places a condition based on a local governments request, it is up to the local government to monitor for compliance unless the board provides otherwise.

(i) consumptions endorsements must be renewed yearly by the application renewal process.

COMMENTS:

I think these are a good start to allowing for a place to consume cannabis outside of private property.

This will allow for tourists to have a place to consume while visiting Alaska without breaking local laws and possibly adding tickets to their travel expenses.

This also supplies a place for consumers to gather with friends recreationally in a safe secure environment.

The lack of allowance for concentrates although disappointing, is understandable to start with in a brand new market. With many new consumers who are not aware yet of the effects of flower or low dose edibles, keep the heavy hitting at home or in a private residence, at least for NOW.  I do feel this needs to be readdressed maybe a year or two after the adoption of these regulations.  That  gives the public more time to become accustomed to the effects of having a semi public place to consume and the fear of the potency of concentrates has settled some.

Both the allowance for non infused food and drink as well as allowing the customers to leave with “left overs” are new additions compared to the last set of onsite regulations that were proposed.  This makes me think of the possibility of having cafe’s where you can buy lunch and enjoy a smoke with coffee, or an edible as desert. This possibility is a step towards making cannabis main stream and not dark and scary for the new curious consumer looking for a safer recreational experience outside of the local pub or bar.

My main concern for these regulation that I think need to be addressed is:

(c)(B)(i) Which states that if smoking is to be allowed the ventilation plans must be signed and approved by a Licensed Mechanical Engineer.  This may pose a problem as there are no standards yet set for this type of operation.  The regulations need to state what standards those engineers are signing off on, or  a licensee may be hard pressed to have anyone who is licensed signed and approve them.

 

 

 

3AAC 306.990(b)

 

proposed:

(b) is amended to add subsection 27 &28

(27) “marijuana consumption area” a place designated within a retail establishments premises that holds a valid retail license as well as an onsite endorsement, that consumption of marijuana and some marijuana products excluding concentrates,  to be consumed.

(28) “retail marijuana store premises” means the area that contains both the retail marijuana store and the separated marijuana consumption area.

Make sure to submit your public comment to:

Alcohol & Marijuana Control office at 550 West 7th Avenue,                         Suite 1600, Anchorage, AK 99501

or

amco.regs@alaska.gov

all comments on these proposed regulations must be                                   received no later then 4:30, October 27th 2017

http://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/amco/MarijuanaRegulations.aspx

The Next MCB meeting will be held on November 14th and 15th at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, in the meeting room #1 Katnu room.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

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