LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in Alaska?
With the passage of Measure 2 in 2014, Alaska became the third state to legalize recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis use was legalized in 1998 after voters approved the Alaska Medical Marijuana Initiative, or Measure 8.
Alaska was the second state in the U.S. to decriminalize cannabis after President Richard Nixon passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in 1971. In 1975, the state legislature imposed a $100 fine for possession, effectively decriminalizing the plant, though stopping short of legalizing it.
Also that year the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in Ravin v. State that Alaskan adults had the right to use and possess a small amount of cannabis for personal use, according to Alaska’s constitutional rights to personal privacy. In 1982, the $100 fine was removed. In 1986, the Alaska legislature decriminalized the possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana (113.4 grams) in the home and up to 1 ounce (28.35 grams) outside of the home.
However, the pendulum swung back toward prohibition in the late 1980s. On the heels of multiple cannabis trafficking busts, voters in 1990 approved the Alaska Marijuana Criminalization Initiative, or Ballot Measure 2. This law made possession of small amounts of marijuana a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.
The pendulum of public opinion swung again in 1998 when voters passed the Alaska Medical Marijuana Initiative, or Measure 8, a bill that legalized medical cannabis use for qualifying individuals. While the measure legalized cannabis possession and use, there was no legal way for patients and caregivers to obtain the plant.
Anti-cannabis sentiment gained the upper hand in 2006 when the legislature once again criminalized possession. This law was heavily pushed by Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, who was publicly against cannabis use.
Finally, Alaska’s Measure 2, or The Alaska Marijuana Legalization Initiative, was approved by 53% of voters in 2014 allowing for the regulation, production, sale, and use of recreational cannabis. The measure went into effect in February 2015.
Republican Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer signed off on the state’s approved regulations for onsite consumption on March 12, 2019, and the laws went into effect on April 11, 2019. The onsite consumption rules give each local government jurisdiction over its own county and the ability to determine its own onsite regulations.
Measure 2’s passage changed the Alcohol Beverage Control Board into the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO), which established the Marijuana Control Board (MCB) in 2015 to regulate and govern recreational cannabis use.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) oversees the Medical Marijuana Registry.
Where is it safe to purchase?
Under Measure 2, adults 21 and older are able to purchase and consume cannabis from state-licensed retailers and establishments with a valid onsite consumption endorsement. They are able to purchase up to 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of marijuana, 7 grams of cannabis concentrate, or total cannabis with fewer than 5.6 grams of THC. Adults looking to consume cannabis onsite are limited to purchasing no more than 1 gram with a limit of 10 milligrams of THC per transaction.
Cannabis shoppers in Alaska must show a valid state ID as proof of age. At this time, retail stores accept cash only. Consumers are not subject to any sales or use tax on cannabis purchases, but a $50-per-ounce (28.35 grams) tax is levied when cultivators sell to manufacturers or dispensaries, who build that into the retail price.
There are currently no dispensaries offering specifically medical cannabis for purchase. Therefore, patients and caregivers must purchase marijuana at licensed recreational retailers. Patients younger than 21 must have a caregiver purchase cannabis products on their behalf.
Alaska law prohibits the home delivery of cannabis products to consumers.
Where is it safe to consume?
Public cannabis consumption is prohibited by state law. Legal consumption may occur on private property or in an establishment with a valid onsite consumption endorsement. Adults can consume flower, edibles, concentrates, oils, tinctures, salves, drinks, patches, and topical cannabis products.
Legal consumers may possess 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of any form of marijuana. They may also give, but not sell, up to 1 ounce of marijuana and six immature plants to a person who is 21 or older.
View the marijuana laws & regulations for Alaska.
AK Marijuana Card
Updated on May 4, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Alaska Medical Marijuana Card
In order to be afforded legal protection of the Alaska Medical Marijuana law, qualified medical marijuana patients must register with the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card by submitting a marijuana card application with the Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Prior to mailing the application, be sure to review and ensure that all required information has been completed. If the marijuana card application is not complete, it will be denied and you will not be allowed to reapply for a period of six months.
In Alaska, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is governed by the Alaska Medical Marijuana Act. If you have a debilitating medical condition and need this medicine for treatment, a written document from your doctor will allow you to use, cultivate and transport this drug under the act. A written statement from a physician or an Alaska marijuana card also permits patients and their caregivers to purchase cannabis from any of the dispensaries across the state. Qhile you need to be over 21 to get recreational cannabis, minors are eligible for an MMJ card in Alaska.
Possessing marijuana without a state-issued card is punishable by law as cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. However, there are numerous dispensaries that serve card-carrying patients and offer them a wide variety of options when it comes to treatment. The patient, caregiver, and an alternate caregiver must be registered with the state for the medical use of marijuana.
Benefits of an Alaska Marijuana Card
With an Alaska medical marijuana card, you have:
- Legal Protection – As an Alaska marijuana card holder, you have all the rights to use and travel across the state with the drug. There’s absolutely no legal risk of carrying marijuana with you while you’re traveling as long as you have your card with you.
- Access to Clubs and Dispensaries – There are many cannabis clubs across the state that only allow entry to patients who possess medical marijuana cards issued by the state government. Register for a card and enjoy free entry to these clubs and access to a variety of dispensaries.
- The Option to Grow Your Own – Other than using marijuana, you gain the right to cultivate your mature plants as well once you receive a medical marijuana card. You can also legally purchase all the paraphernalia associated with growing and consuming marijuana for medical use.
How Can We Help You?
As an online search and booking platform dedicated to helping patients who need marijuana for medical purposes, MarijuanaDoctors.com features an extensive network of physicians and dispensaries on our website. Our goal is to make it effortless for patients to locate a knowledgeable doctor nearby. We not only review and rate the popular cannabis dispensaries and physicians in your area, but we also help you qualify for an Alaska medical marijuana card.
Our commitment to your treatment doesn’t stop after you’ve been paired with one of our fully-vetted physicians. Card-holding patients can also use our portal to access online services. Our Symptom Tracker also makes it easy for you and your doctor to keep track of your treatment and how it’s affecting your condition.
Learn how to get a medical marijuana card in Alaska. Find out about local laws and qualifying conditions.