Alaskan Governing Body Resources
- AK Alcohol & Marijuana Control Board: official AKAMCB site
- Alaska Medical Marijuana Registry: Application for Patients
- Packaging Laws: the Act to Tax and Regulate the Production, Sale and Use of Marijuana, section 3 AAC 306.345. Packaging and labeling.
2019 Marijuana Packaging Law Updates
Alaska’s cannabis industry is regulated by the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office. As Alaska has been one of the first states to legalize marijuana, its packaging and labeling regulations are generally more established in comparison to other states. Generally, labeling requirements in Alaska require that consumers are informed and protected. The guidelines that have been issued by the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office are outlined below.
- (Total mg of THC must be noted) Δ9 – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) must appear in a single serving or single edible product (ie: number of servings per product)
- Require edible product labels to disclose product information such as risk factors associated with consumption
- Allowable limit of 50 mg of THC in an edible
- Alaska defines serving as 5mg
- Prohibit packaging of products that may appeal to children (gummies, candies, lollipops, cookies)
- Edibles must state on label that marijuana has intoxicating effects and that it is against the law to drive while intoxicated
- Requires edible products to state “there are health risks associated with consumption of marijuana” (Packaging and Labeling, Alaska Admin. Code 3, § 306.345, 2016)
- No requirement on specific health risks that have to be disclosed
- Edibles need not list product ingredients
- No requirement to list nutritional information
- Edible product must contain information about expiry or “best by” date
Packages and Labeling
Packaging must be:
- Re-sealable (if multiple uses can be gained from the product)
- Child-resistant (Child-resistant means that the package must be significantly difficult for children under the age of five to open- but not normally difficult for adults to use the product in a normal manner)
- The label must identify the retail marijuana store selling the marijuana product (by use of the company’s distinctive logo and the marijuana store’s license number)
- The label must state the estimated amount of total THC in the product
- The net weight of the product in the package using a standard of measure that is compatible with the marijuana facility’s tracking system
Packaging must contain the following statements:
- “marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming and addictive”
- “marijuana impairs concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under its influence”
- “there are health risks associated with consumption of marijuana”
- “for use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children”
- “Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding”
Packaging Requirements for Marijuana Cultivation Facilities:
- Identifying name and logo of the company of the cultivation company
- License number where marijuana was grown
- The inventory tracking number assigned to the marijuana in the package
- The net weight of the marijuana in the package (not including weight of the shipping container) using a standard of measure that is compatible with the marijuana facility’s tracking system
- A complete list of all pesticides, fungicides and herbicides used in the cultivation of the marijuana
- A label (attached to the shipping container-does not have to be on each individual item) showing that a licensed marijuana testing facility has tested the product (and each harvest batch) in order to comply with 3 AAC 306.644) which reports the following test results:
- A cannabinoid potency profile published as a range of percentages that ranges from the lowest to the highest percentage of concentration for each cannabinoid noted from every test conducted on each strain of marijuana (from the marijuana cultivation facility) within the last three months
- A statement listing the results of microbial testing required under 3 AAC 306.645(b)(2)
- A statement listing the results of residual solvent testing (as required by 3 AAC 306.645(b)(3)
- A statement listing any contaminants for which the product was tested in addition to contaminants that require testing
- Any additional tested contaminants including molds, mildew filth, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and harmful chemicals
Other Packaging Requirements for Marijuana Cultivation Facilities:
- Must not contain printed images
- Must not contain cartoon characters
- Must not target consumers under the age of 21
- Packaging must be protected from cross-contamination
- Packaging must state that there are no toxic or damaging substances in the marijuana
- Package must contain tracking label (for tracking used by the marijuana cultivation facility’s marijuana inventory tracking system)
- A marijuana cultivation facility cannot label their marijuana as organic
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.
- This excerpt is taken from the Act to Tax and Regulate the Production, Sale and Use of Marijuana, section 3 AAC 306.345. Packaging and labeling.
“(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.