For the first time since Alaska legalized marijuana in 2015, a Haines resident has taken an official step toward opening a pot-related business.
Carol Waldo applied for a license to open Glacier Bay Farms, a cultivation facility, at 17 Helms Loop Spur. Waldo declined to comment for this story. The only information about her plans is a basic public notice on the Alaska Marijuana Control Board’s website.
Her application is still at the state level. If it gets approval there, the business will still need to get the go-ahead locally before moving forward.
Currently, there is nothing in borough code regulating marijuana businesses in Haines. Municipalities are allowed to set stricter guidelines than the state. But they can’t be less restrictive.
Interim manager Brad Ryan says the borough could decide to take additional steps, like imposing zoning restrictions or taxes.
“There are things that can be taken up by the assembly or the planning commission,” says Ryan. “But we don’t have any direction on that yet.”
Ryan says borough staff has been looking into how other communities have dealt with the issue. He says he expects the discussion to pick up, now that a Haines resident has submitted an application.
“I expect this application is going to spur a lot of conversation,” says Ryan. “About zoning, taxes, a number of things I’m sure.”
Last year, a local Chamber of Commerce marijuana committee recommended not going beyond state rules.
In Skagway, the assembly adopted pot business zoning restrictions a year ago. The town’s first marijuana retail shop opened in January.
Haines residents have until May 11 to submit comments or objections to Waldo’s application.