Keep Cannabis Legal makes rounds in Homer ahead of vote

Members of the Keep Cannabis Legal campaign are making the rounds ahead of the Oct. 3 general election.

Proposition 1 on the ballot would outlaw commercial cannabis operations outside of incorporated cities in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. A group of cannabis industry representatives has formed Keep Cannabis Legal and is out in the borough community advocating a “no” vote on Prop 1.

A few campaign members stopped in Homer on Sept. 9, to hold a public meeting as the vote looms closer. Though only a handful of local residents turned out, discussion was mainly positive and focused on getting people out to the polls, both on the day of the election and ahead of time. Early voting through absentee ballot is available starting Sept. 18.

Leif Able, who operates the standard marijuana cultivation facility Greatland Ganja in Kasilof, gave tips for talking to people who have questions about the merits of the marijuana industry and asked those attending the meeting to encourage their friends to get out and vote.

He brought up job creation and increased tax revenue as items to focus on that benefit the peninsula economy. He and others present at the meeting also said that a regulated marijuana industry does more to protect minors and beat back the black market when it comes to cannabis than no industry at all, which they said would not stop marijuana from circulating in the state.

Jim Hunter, one of the Homer area residents attending the meeting, operates Hunter Greens and Purples LLC, a standard marijuana cultivation facility off the Sterling Highway on the way into the city. It’s been up and running since June.

Hunter said he came to the meeting in case any people attended who were not familiar with Prop 1 or had questions in order to talk with them and give them answers. Everyone there was familiar with the issue, but Hunter said most often he gets questions about specifics on the rules governing the cannabis industry.

Hunter has increasingly been letting more people around Homer know about his business, mostly in passing when he’s visiting various stores.

“I just mention to people what I’m doing,” he said. “I’ll flat tell people what I’m doing. ‘Oh, I’m buying this to put in my marijuana cultivation facility.’ And so they’ll ask questions, and most of everybody’s really positive. They think it’s great.”

Should Prop 1 pass and cannabis operations be eliminated outside the city, Hunter said he’s not entirely worried about the state of the industry since there are already a few applications within city limits. One on Ocean Driver could be open by the end of the year.

“If it has to go inside the city limits, it will not be me,” Hunter said with a laugh.

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