Alaska is famous for its stunning natural beauty, abundant wildlife, outdoor activities, rich indigenous culture, and fishing industry. People visit Alaska for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, friendly communities, and opportunities for adventure. On a trip to the Last Frontier State you might encounter a moose, grizzly bear, caribou, or pot farm?! If you like to partake in the herb, here’s what you should know about weed legality in Alaska.
Is Weed Legal in Alaska? Straight to the point.
- Recreational THC: Yes
- Medical THC: Yes
- CBD: Yes
- Delta-8: No
Medical Weed Laws
Medical marijuana has been legal in Alaska since 1998, and it is available for those who have a qualifying medical condition. The minimum age limit to use medical marijuana is 19, and patients can purchase up to one ounce of usable marijuana. To obtain a medical marijuana card, an individual must have a qualifying condition and obtain a recommendation from a licensed physician. You can apply for a medical marijuana card through the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
The list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card in Alaska include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic pain
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Severe Nausea
- Persistent muscle spasms
It’s worth noting that Alaska also recognizes conditions that are treated with medical marijuana in other states, so be sure to bring your state-approved medical card if you want to visit a medical dispensary.
Recreational Weed Laws
Cannabis in Alaska has been legal for recreational use since 2015, when Measure 2 was approved by voters. Those who are 21 years of age or older can legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana, with a purchasing limit of one ounce of usable marijuana or its equivalent in other marijuana products, such as edibles or concentrates. This marks a significant change from the 1990 recriminalization of cannabis through Measure 2, and the unsuccessful attempts to legalize recreational use through ballot measures in 2000 and 2004.
There are a few restrictions to be aware of when using recreational marijuana in Alaska. For example, it’s illegal to use marijuana in public places, such as parks and sidewalks. It’s also illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, just as it is with alcohol. Additionally, individuals are not allowed to transport marijuana outside of the state. However, it is legal to have up to one ounce of marijuana in one’s possession while traveling within the state.
Is Weed Decriminalized in Alaska?
No, marijuana is not decriminalized in Alaska. Although it is legal for both medical and recreational use, there are still penalties for possessing and using marijuana illegally. For example, individuals who possess more than the legal limit for personal use (1 ounce of usable marijuana) may face fines or imprisonment. It’s also illegal to sell or distribute marijuana to minors or to sell marijuana outside of a licensed dispensary. See below for more information about marijuana penalties.
Marijuana-derived cannabinoids are only legal through licensed and regulated channels, like state-approved dispensaries. However, there are plenty of cannabinoid variants that come from hemp and made by altering hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD. Since many of these are psychoactive, each state has different opinions about how to govern them. This is where Alaska stands on alternative cannabinoids.
Is CBD legal in Alaska?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products.
The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution. CBD is legal in Alaska.
Is Delta-8 legal in Alaska?
Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in Alaska, according to Sec. 7. AS 11.71.900(14) of the Alaska Statutes. Although Alaska has made significant strides in its marijuana laws, Delta-8 THC remains prohibited in the state.
Is Delta-10 legal in Alaska?
Delta-10 THC, which is similar in effects to Delta-8 THC but with lower potency, is legal at the federal level but banned in Alaska under the same regulations as Delta-8 THC. This cannabinoid is considered an analog of Delta-9 THC.
Are THC-O, HHC, and HHC-O legal in Alaska?
The legality of THC-O, HHC, and HHC-O in Alaska is a complex topic that requires clarification. The state has banned hemp-derived THC and all THC isomers, including THC-O, HHC, and HHC-O, and has categorized them as Schedule III controlled substances. However, the exact legal status of these cannabinoids remains somewhat ambiguous. All THC variants, including THC-JD, THC-H, THC-B, THC-P, THCP-O, and others are included in this gray area.
In February 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers.
For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Individuals over the age of 21 are allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use, with no more than three mature plants at any given time.
There is no specific license required for personal use growing. However, for those who wish to grow marijuana for commercial purposes, a license from the Alaska Marijuana Control Board is required. Commercial cultivators are subject to different plant limits and regulatory requirements, and the number of plants they can grow will depend on the size of their operation and the license category they hold.
Where to Buy Weed in Alaska
In Alaska, there are several ways to purchase marijuana, including through licensed dispensaries, delivery services, or directly from cultivators through “direct to consumer” options.
Alaska ranks fifth in the United States for the highest number of retail cannabis shops per capita. This is a testament to the growing popularity and acceptance of marijuana for recreational use in the state. With a large number of dispensaries and delivery services available, residents and visitors have access to a wide variety of marijuana products, making it easier to find the right fit for their needs.
The high number of retail shops per capita also reflects the state’s commitment to providing safe and legal access to marijuana products. So, whether you’re looking to purchase some weed or just curious, a quick online search or asking your neighbors should suffice.
With a sky-high number of dispensaries, cannabis delivery is as easy as pie! All you have to do is place an order, sit back, and let the magic happen – delivered right to your doorstep. But beware, if you live in Alaska, you might want to make sure your dispensary also has their snow boots ready, as deliveries can get a little chilly up in the great white north!
Direct to Consumer
In the great state of Alaska, not only can you find a dispensary on every street corner (ok, maybe not every corner but there’s a lot), but you can also buy cannabis products straight from the source! That’s right, it’s legal to buy directly from the brands that partner with delivery services.
Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.
Is Drug Testing Legal in Alaska?
Employers in Alaska are not required by law to conduct drug testing, but if they choose to do so, they must follow certain guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy. The most common method for detecting THC in the body is urine drug testing, with a threshold of 50 ng/mL for THC-COOH. Employers may choose to prohibit the use of marijuana, but Alaska has legalized recreational marijuana, so employers may not discriminate against employees for legal off-duty marijuana use.
Employers must provide notice to employees about the drug testing policy and use a certified laboratory to conduct the testing to protect employee privacy and ensure accuracy. If you have specific questions about an employer’s drug testing policy in Alaska, consult with a legal professional or the employer’s HR department.
Where can you smoke weed in Alaska?
In Alaska, you are generally allowed to smoke cannabis in private residences. However, it is illegal to smoke or consume cannabis in public places, including parks, bars, and restaurants. Additionally, landlords have the right to prohibit cannabis use on their rental properties. Before consuming, it’s always best to check the specific rules and regulations for the location you are in.
Can you smoke weed in public in Alaska?
Nope, and doing so will land you in deep frozen waters.
When was weed legalized in Alaska?
In 1998, Alaska legalized medical cannabis use with the passage of Measure 8, which received 58.7% of the vote. This measure enabled patients with a physician’s recommendation to possess up to one ounce (28 g) of marijuana or cultivate up to six plants. On February 24, 2015, the recreational use and possession of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older became legal in Alaska through the approval of Ballot Measure 2 by voters.
Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ
What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?
In Alaska, if you are caught selling, gifting, transporting, or importing less than 1 oz of marijuana, the penalty is a misdemeanor and can result in 1 year of imprisonment and a fine of $10,000. If caught with 1 oz or more of marijuana, the penalty is a felony and can result in 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000.
What is the penalty for selling to a minor?
In Alaska, the penalty for selling weed to a person under 19 who is 3 years or more younger than the seller is a felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000.
What is possession with the intent to sell?
Possession with the intent to sell refers to having a certain amount of cannabis in one’s possession with the intention of distributing or selling it, rather than for personal use. The exact definition and threshold for “possession with intent to sell” vary by jurisdiction and can be difficult to determine.
However, it is often indicated by factors such as large quantities of cannabis, packaging material, or the presence of cash or drug-selling paraphernalia. The penalties for possession with intent to sell can be more severe than those for simple possession, and can include fines and imprisonment.
When is possession still a crime?
Possession of marijuana remains a crime in Alaska if it is in violation of the state’s laws and regulations. This includes possessing more than the legally allowed amount, possessing marijuana if you are under the legal age, and possessing marijuana in a public place where it is not allowed. Additionally, possessing marijuana with the intent to sell, distribute, or transfer to another person, regardless of whether payment is involved, is also considered a crime.