Community council helps start conversations between pot businesses, residents

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KTUU File image (KTUU)
Published: May. 10, 2016 at 8:23 AM AKDT
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With the marijuana businesses on track to open up soon, community councils are starting to hear from possible neighbors.

The Mountain View City Council had it usual meeting Monday along with a public discussion for a potential retail marijuana shop in the area.

“They are coming, going. We’ve seen a few applications come in three or four about once a month," said Melissa Houston of the Mountain View Community Council. “It’s actually been a really good learning process for residents and the executive board.”

Houston says potential pot business owners have been coming to the meetings for a while. “Typically we have had some prospective business owners come to our meetings introduce themselves," Houston said. "Let us know who they are, and serve as opportunity to put a name to the face.”

After the business owners approach the council, letters are sent out to residents living nearby to set a date for both sides to discuss the possible changes to the neighborhood.

“The business owners are required to share quite a bit of information with us," Houston said. "More than what we would see from other businesses putting layouts.”

After hearing both sides the Mountain View Community Council then provides feedback to the Anchorage Assembly.

The discussion between businesses and community councils is necessary, according to Chairman of the Marijuana Control Board, Bruce Schulte.

“It’s a super important part of the process just because the Anchorage Assembly have indicated they are going to look at the community councils for their input.”

Schulte says no licenses have been issued statewide, and doesn’t expect the process to begin until June.

“The retail stores are expected to come later in the fall probably a September time frame.”