The First Commercial Marijuana Harvest in Alaska has started. Twelve commercial grow facilities are up and running in Alaska and many of which are currently harvesting their marijuana, with the remaining handful to follow in November and December. The cold weather is beginning to creep into Alaska, so growers who began with small medical grow operations have to quickly adjust to the larger scale commercial process and pull any strains that are more susceptible to cold temperatures.
So can you purchase these harvests in retailers in Alaska yet? Nope. The state requires that marijuana batches must be tested in state-licensed testing facilities, but unfortunately those testing facilities are not open yet and won’t be until at least mid-October. The two facilities that are closest to being ready are located in Anchorage, which potentially is quite far from the grow sites.
Once the batches are tested and deemed ok, are there plenty of retailers available to sell the marijuana? Nope. The first retail store will be licensed by the state of Alaska in the beginning of October. The store, called Remedy Shoppe, will be located in Skagway which is located in the southeastern portion of Alaska, and is over 800 miles away from Anchorage.
The state tax on marijuana is $800 a pound, which amounts to more than half of the cost to cultivate and grow the marijuana. The retail cost is yet to be determined.