Ketchikan officials won’t oppose marijuana cafe north of town

A view of downtown Ketchikan, seen from the cruise ship Veendam. (Photo by Leila Kheiry/KRBD)

A proposed on-site marijuana cafe in Ketchikan won’t face opposition from local officials.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday waived its right to protest a state license application from Cannabis Corner, a marijuana retailer in the Totem Bight area.

Assembly member David Landis said he didn’t see a legal reason for the borough to object.

“This is a legal industry in the state of Alaska, and this is a legal activity under Alaska law,” Landis said.

But not everyone was convinced. Assembly member Alan Bailey said he’s worried about stoned drivers on the road.

“Impaired drivers kill too many people in this community and around this state,” Bailey said.

As with a liquor license, marijuana licenses are up for annual renewal. So if there’s an uptick in stoned driving, Landis said, the Assembly would have another opportunity to protest.

“The way that I see it is that this business has a chance to prove itself,” Landis said. “This community, the consumers of this product have a chance to prove to us that this is a safe activity.”

Assembly members Sue Pickrell joined Bailey to oppose the motion. It passed 5-2.

State marijuana regulators are scheduled to consider the permit later this month. If approved, Cannabis Corner could be among the first marijuana cafes in Alaska.

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