JUNEAU, Alaska — A marijuana business in Juneau could start allowing onsite cannabis consumption — making it the first business in the city to do so — if given permit approval later this month.
Rainforest Farms submitted an application to the City and Borough of Juneau to modify the inside of the business to create a designated space for consuming cannabis, including installing a wall and adding security cameras and doors, the Juneau Empire reported.
Only eating edibles would be allowed, the application said. Smoking or vaping would not be allowed.
"We are not allowing smoking, and the dosages of edibles are smaller, but Alaska is pretty open creatively on what we can do," Rainforest Farms co-owner James Barrett told The Associated Press on Saturday. "We are going to add a coffee shop, bar and lounge area that offers pot-infused foods, but will also have some non-infused foods, such as sandwiches."
The state legalized onsite consumption in March 2019 and Juneau approved the ordinance a few months later, but no businesses have taken advantage of it, the newspaper reported. The ordinance allows edibles to be consumed indoors while state-approved businesses can offer outdoor smoking options.
The state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development has already approved the plans, which include the wall installation and air filtration systems to prevent excessive smell coming from the business.
The permit will next go before the city Planning Commission at an Aug. 11 meeting. Public comment can be submitted until noon on Aug. 7. Public testimony will be taken at the Aug. 11 meeting.
The permit could end up before the Juneau Assembly for a vote if the Planning Commission’s decision is appealed, said City Planner Laurel Christian, who oversees Rainforest Farms' permit. The business still must go through a state permitting process.
"We will need approval from the city first. After that, we would submit another application to the state," Barrett said, adding that he expects both applications to be approved.
AP journalist Cheyanne Mumphrey in Phoenix contributed to this report.