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Legalization Status

Marijuana (2)

Decriminalized Since 1975

Medical Marijuana (1)

Medical Since 1998

Coffee Shop (1)

Recreational Since 2015

Alaskan Governing Body Resources


2018 Marijuana Packaging Law Updates


Alaska has been one of the forerunners of cannabis legalization, passing bills as early as 1975 to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis for personal use for adults, much like other legislation in other states. Cannabis laws went back and forth in Alaska throughout the twentieth century, with Alaskan lawmakers putting in decriminalization and then re-criminalization laws all through the 1980s and 1990s. Re-criminalization and decriminalization efforts continued through 2006, when cannabis was made again illegal, with punishments ranging from 90 days in jail to felony charges.

Public opinion shifted in the new millennium toward legalizing cannabis, and the Last Frontier State voted to legalize cannabis during the national elections in 2014, becoming the third state to have medical cannabis; the Act to Tax and Regulate the Production, Sale and Use of Marijuana, created the Alaska Marijuana Control Board. These laws took two years to become effective, but by then then Alaska’s Alcohol & Marijuana Control Board was ready to go with regulations in place regarding licensing for cannabis products, transportation, dispensaries, and labeling.

Like many states that have legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use, regulations are mostly concerned with ethical sale through licensed and bonded producers and retailers. This is to ensure that consumers are fully aware of the chemical content and potency of their cannabis, just like consumers are informed by OTC drug packaging. To this end, any new cannabis retailers in Alaska should be aware of all regulatory authorities and laws regarding cannabis in the state.

2017 Marijuana Packaging Law Updates


Alaska was one of the first states to decriminalize cannabis way back in 1975, but then reversed that and criminalized it again. Despite that setback, they again joined Colorado and Washington in decriminalizing recreational cannabis in 2014. At that point, they had to set regulations about how they would package and sell medical marijuana legally.

Alaska has relatively strict legal cannabis packaging regulations, requiring opaque packaging that’s resealable and child resistant when the customer leaves the dispensary. They don’t specify what kind of child proofing, so cannabis professionals have options. The labeling laws are a little more specific, requiring not only the THC dosage but also specific statements similar to those on prescription drugs warning of the effects of THC. Read on for the specific text the government requires.

“(a) A retail marijuana store shall assure that:

(3) any marijuana or marijuana product sold at a retail marijuana store must be packaged in opaque, reclosable, child-resistant packaging when the purchaser leaves the retail premises; the packaging must be designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open; but not normally difficult for adults to use properly.

(b) In addition to labeling requirements provided in (a) of this section, a retail marijuana store shall affix a label to each package of marijuana or marijuana product that

(1) identifies the marijuana retail store selling the marijuana product by name or distinctive logo and marijuana establishment license number; and

(2) states the total estimated amount of THC in the labeled product, and (3) contains the following statements:

(A) “Marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming and addictive;”

(B) “Marijuana impairs concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under its influence;”

(C) “There are health risks associated with consumption of marijuana”

(D) “For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children;” and

(E) “Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding;””

For more information, please refer to the statutes and regulations on the Alaska Marijuana Statutes and Regulations website.

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