Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s released a statement on May 19 warning the Legislature once again that a failure to address the $4 billion budget gap may further lower Alaska’s credit rating.
The Legislature adjourned on May 18 at the end of an extended, 121-day session without passing a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, or any of several fiscal changes concerning the Permanent Fund or oil and gas tax credits.
The Alaska marijuana industry first business licenses will be issued in June, and the most crucial kind have the lowest number of applications.
Testing facilities — one of the four commercial cannabis licenses created under legalization — present a possible industry bottleneck. All cannabis products sold in Alaska must undergo tests in state-licensed labs.
The Marijuana Control Board enacted a policy decision April 27 that will hurry along the licensing process that has been slowed since the state started taking applications Feb. 24.
The board voted 4-1 to allow its Executive Director Cynthia Franklin to declare license applications complete before state and federal fingerprint background checks are completed.
Only Loren Jones opposed the policy decision of the five-member board.
Anchorage’s Pot Luck Events is the only marijuana social club still operating without a legal challenge, as statewide puzzlement to their legality produces a patchwork of local controls.
Fairbanks’ The Higher Calling and Homer’s Kachemak Cannabis Club have both closed, and the City of Kenai is seeking an injunction against Green Rush Events.
Northrim Bank leaders say Alaska’s state fiscal outlook may be grim, but the economy has some positives to focus on as well.
The bank has launched a new speaking series geared specifically towards helping businesses navigate the state’s new fiscal environment. The key point is psychology, the bank’s leaders say. They don’t deny the importance of the state’s $4.1 billion budget deficit and they don’t deny that an economic downturn is in the works, but they say handwringing is the wrong response.
ANCHORAGE — The first batch of marijuana business license applications is available to the public, and so far Alaskans have more interest in growing than selling.
The Marijuana Control Board began accepting license applications on Feb. 24, but only made them available to the public March 14. Public figures from various marijuana industry and political groups have filed, including members of the Marijuana Control Board itself and the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association.
Gov. Bill Walker issued an administrative order on Feb. 29 establishing a mariculture task force for shellfish and sea plants.
Walker’s order responds to both economic and ecological concerns. The release touts the potential economic benefits to coastal communities and the Alaska fishing industry.
Further, as ocean acidification continues to impact shellfish, Walker said the stocks need all the help they can get in recovering.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill on March 3 that would require all genetically engineered salmon to carry the words “genetically engineered” or “GE.” The bill’s language resulted from discussions between Murkowski and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, strengthening earlier FDA language that made the labeling voluntary rather than mandatory.
The FDA could require mandatory labeling for genetically engineered salmon as soon as March.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has lifted a nomination hold on the nomination of Dr. Richard Califf as U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief, saying the administration has guaranteed mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered salmon.
ANCHORAGE — Marijuana business can expect a hefty square footage price for retail, cultivation and manufacturing leases within the Municipality of Anchorage once they open for business.
On Wednesday, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board started accepting business license applications. In the meantime, several industry sources report being charged several times the average per square footage lease rate for their planned marijuana operations, or entering into lease agreements that give a percentage of business profits to the landlord.