Alaska Cannabis License Guidelines

Alaska Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria:

The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) — a division of Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development — is charged with administering the state’s cannabis laws.

The Marijuana Control Board (MCB) was established as a regulatory and quasi-judicial agency for the control of the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana in the state.

The cannabis licensed premises must not be located within 500 feet of a school ground, a recreation or youth center, a building in which religious services are regularly conducted, or a correctional facility.

The cannabis licensed premises must not be located in a liquor license premises.

The applicant must not be a felon or found guilty of selling alcohol without a license, selling alcohol to an individual under 21 years of age, a misdemeanor crime involving a controlled substance, violence against a person, use of a weapon, or dishonesty within the preceding five years; or been convicted of a class A misdemeanor relating to selling, furnishing, or distributing marijuana within two years before submitting an application.

All applicants with a direct or indirect financial interest must be Alaska residents.

Alaska Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Alaska commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites: 


How do I apply for a cannabis license?

You will initiate your application from our website on the page titled,” Marijuana License Application”. You will need to have a valid myAlaska account and an Alaska business license number in order to apply. Click the button titled “Initiate Marijuana Application” and follow the prompts. Make sure you’ve reviewed all of the resources available on the application page, as they will guide you and help you in initiating your application. Completing this online process will initiate your application, but you will still need to complete your operating plan and supplemental forms. The forms are available on the marijuana application page, organized by license type. 


Who has to be listed on the application?

Applicants for marijuana establishment licenses must list all persons with a direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the license. If the application is being submitted by an LLC or Corporation, the affiliate section of the application must contain all human persons who have any interest in the entity. If members of the LLC or shareholders of a corporation are themselves entities, they must be further reduced to human persons with a financial interest in the operation of a license. All persons must be listed. Misrepresentation of material fact can lead to denial of a license or suspension or revocation of a license which is issued if it is later discovered that the certification was false or the listing of affiliates was incomplete. 


What if the license will be owned by an entity or corporation?

The assigned examiner will check the entity ownership as listed in the Corporations, Professional and Business Licensing Database. If you have ownership of less than 5%, which is not listed on CPBL’s filing page, you must update your ownership documentation with CPBL showing all ownership of your entity. You must submit a copy of your CPBL filing paperwork to AMCO as part of the application process. AMCO staff will be able to examine your updated filing document even though CPBL’s filing page may not reflect less than 5% ownership. 


Do I need to be an Alaska resident in order to apply?

All persons with a direct or indirect financial interest must be Alaska residents. 

What happens after I initiate my application?

The following requirements must be met to get your application to the Marijuana Control Board: 

  • Notify the public of your intent to open a marijuana establishment at your proposed location by following the stipulations laid out in 3 AAC 306.025. 
  • Post a copy of your Public Notice (created for you based on the information you provide by the online licensing database) for 10 days at your proposed premises and at a conspicuous nearby location such as a post office or grocery store bulletin board. 
  • Send a copy of your Public Notice to your local government(s), and to your community council if the establishment will be in the Municipality of Anchorage or Mat-Su Borough. 
  • Place an advertisement (created for you by the online licensing database) notifying the public of your intent to open a marijuana establishment in a newspaper of general circulation in the area you intend to operate once per week for three consecutive weeks. 
  • Complete all of the supplemental forms specific to your license type, including your Operating plan and various affidavits. 
  • Submit fingerprint cards for each person listed on your application. 
  • Submit payment, in person or by mail. 
  • Complete any requirements or stipulations laid out by your local government(s). 
  • After your application is deemed complete by the AMCO director per 3 AAC 306.025(d), it will be submitted to your local government(s) who will have up to 60 days to protest the application. 
  • The complete application packet will then be posted on our website during the 30-day objection period described under 3 AAC 306.065.
  • Within 90 days after your application is deemed complete, it will be considered by the board at the next regularly scheduled MCB meeting. 

Do I have to have a right to possession of the proposed premises when I apply?

Yes. Marijuana establishment licenses are premises-based licenses and applicants must provide proof of possession to the premises location as part of the application process. This will require a valid deed or lease in the name of the proposed marijuana establishment. You should wait to apply until you know that the entity applying for the license will have right of possession to the premises. 

How long will it take for the AMCO director to deem my application complete?

Applying for a new or transfer license is a long process, involving approval from the Marijuana Control Board, Local Government and other state agencies. Applicants should plan for a 4-to-6-month application process. AMCO Examiners have no authority to approve or expedite an application. 


I want to apply for a marijuana establishment license. What is the first thing I need to do?

Secure a location.  All licenses are premises based, meaning that the first question to answer is where the licensed premises will be located.  Applicants must demonstrate a right of possession to the property.  You must submit a lease or rental agreement if you do not own the property. 

If a person wanted to ask the AMCO whether a location was suitable for a marijuana business, could they disclose whether the location would work?

The AMCO cannot advise any potential applicant of the address chosen is locally zoned in such a way that a commercial marijuana establishment would be permitted in that location.  This is a question of the local government. 


Alaska Cannabis License Types

Retail Marijuana Store

  • Allows for a licensee to sell cannabis obtained from a licensed cannabis cultivation facility to qualified individuals (21 years and older)
  • Allows for a licensee to sell cannabis products obtained from a licensed cannabis product manufacturing facility to qualified individuals (21 years and older)
  • Permit consumption of cannabis or cannabis products in a designated area on the licensed premises, upon approval of the board 
  • $5,000 application fee 

Standard & Limited Cultivation Facility

  • Allows for a licensee to sell cannabis to a licensed retail cannabis store, to a licensed cannabis product manufacturing facility or to another licensed cannabis cultivation facility
  • May also apply for a cannabis product manufacturing facility license and retail cannabis store license.
  • A cannabis cultivation facility that obtains additional cannabis establishment license(s) are allowed for a vertically integrated model
  • $5,000 application fee

Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility

  • Purchase cannabis from a licensed cannabis cultivation facility or from another licensed cannabis product manufacturing facility
  • Manufacture, refine, process, cook cannabis products such as cannabis concentrate, edible products, ointments, tinctures and more
  • Allows to sell cannabis extract and/or cannabis products to licensed retail cannabis stores or other licensed cannabis product manufacturing facilities
  • $5,000 application fee

Marijuana Concentrate Manufacturing Facility

  • Manufacture, refine, process and cook only cannabis concentrate
  • Sell only cannabis concentrate to a licensed retail cannabis store or other licensed cannabis concentrate manufacturing facilities
  • $1,000 application fee

Testing Facility

These companies test, analyze, and/or certify potency, moisture content, pesticide residue, mold, mildew, bacteria, or other contaminants in cannabis. If you own or work for a retail store or cultivation facility, you cannot own or have any financial interest in a testing facility.

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