Program does not receive federal funding, which is why it will allow applicants
The state-run “Made in Alaska” program is accepting applications from marijuana businesses.
According to records obtained by the Empire via a state information act request, a Nikiski business known variously as Hempco LLC and Alaska Cannabis Company, applied for a Made in Alaska certification on July 20.
It hasn’t received that certification yet: The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development is requiring marijuana businesses to submit a completed Alaska marijuana license for consideration, and Hempco doesn’t have one yet, according to the records of the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.
“It’s a new wrinkle, but it’s only a wrinkle,” said Fred Parady, deputy commissioner of the Department of Commerce.
Hempco won’t receive its certification just yet, but Parady confirmed that the door is now open for other marijuana businesses to apply.
Cary Carrigan, head of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association trade group, said the “Made in Alaska” decision matters because it’s a sign the state is continuing to normalize its attitude toward marijuana and treat marijuana businesses the same as others.
“I think it’ll be a good thing for us. Anything that says who we are and what we’re doing (is good),” he said by phone.
James Barrett of Rainforest Farms, Juneau’s first legal marijuana farm and shop, said by text Friday that he turned in his application, and now he’s waiting to see the result.
Marijuana businesses are still barred from using the official “Alaska Grown” label put on state agricultural products because that program receives federal funding. The “Made in Alaska” program, whose label features a polar bear and a black bear, does not receive federal funding, which is why it can be opened to marijuana businesses.
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