AK: Potential Wrangell Pot Business Applies For Licenses

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The Wrangell Assembly passed a zoning ordinance last week that made way for marijuana businesses in Wrangell. Now, Wrangells only proposed pot business, Happy Cannabis, is initiating its applications with the state, beginning the final push for construction to be complete.

About two years after Alaska voted to legalize marijuana, Happy Cannabis owner Kelsey Martinsen is in the final push towards opening day. He hopes to open the retail portion of his business in about four months and start growing and manufacturing marijuana into oils within the year.

We just have to go finish some paperwork, but today, were going to initiate all three licenses with the state, Martinsen said.

Martinsen is applying for three separate licenses, each for a retail shop, cultivation and extraction into oils. The cost of applying with the state for all three is $14,000. Once the process has begun, the state has 90 days to approve or deny an application, and Martinsen has that time to make sure everything is in place.

All the construction, everything we submit has to be correct here. So thats why we kind of spent the last week making sure we get the permit exactly right, he said.

His 520 square foot retail space has freshly hung sheetrock and bare floors, but Martinsen said hes not worried about being done in time. When finished, there will be three counters forming a large horseshoe with a door blocking access behind the counter.

Another door behind the counter leads to the grow 2,000 square foot grow area.

We got two separate locations here. Here well have seven bays. So each one of these doorways is a separate room. Then back there well have eight separate bays, so 15 total, Martinsen said as he pointed down a small hallway framed with bare two-by-fours. Each bay is planning right now to have three cannabis plants in them, and thats what were submitting to the state right now.

Martinsen said he is working with a Fairbanks grower to ship in products until he can harvest his first crop. Theres still some uncertainty if that will happen. The three closest testing facilities in Anchorage and Juneau are still not off the ground, but he said the two Anchorage facilities should be operating in time.

Martinsen plans to harvest six pounds each week, rotating various strains. Small samples of each batch is required to be mailed to a testing facility and tracked through the states metric system.

You have to first input it in the metric system, send it off, let them test it, Martinsen said. Then theyll input that test in the metric system saying youre allowed to sell that cannabis.

Martinsen told KSTK in an earlier interview he estimates his investment to be around $50,000. He said after a lot of uncertainty and bureaucracy, hes excited to see if his business will come to fruition.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Potential Wrangell Pot Business Applies For Licenses
Author: Aaron Bolton
Contact: Alaska Public Media
Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson
Website: Alaska Public Media