The very first recreational cannabis shops in Alaska opened their doors in October 2016, and it didn’t take long before nearly the entire state’s supply of cannabis was bought out. Seeing as shelves were stocked with only the very first harvests, it didn’t take long for cannabis shops to run out of product.
In recent weeks, three different dispensaries in Fairbanks have had to close their doors temporarily until they have enough product to reopen. Some have chosen to open periodically, when they were able to get enough product to make opening the store worth it, while one shop will remain closed until at least mid-way through January, which is when the shop’s own harvest is expected to be ready.
Since Anchorage was farther behind in getting cultivation facilities up and running, growers from other areas, including Fairbanks, are supplying the Anchorage shops as well. There haven’t been any shops that have had to shut down for more than a few days yet in that area – although some shops are mostly getting by on edibles while they are out of flower for the time being.
“It’s definitely been hard to meet demand, that’s for sure, which is good and kind of stressful too,” Barrett said.
At this point, growers are actually taking a waiting list – and retailers are making prepayments – to ensure that everyone gets the product they need. Hopefully the next couple harvests will be enough to catch them up, getting all the shops restocked and prepared for customers once again – where sales may calm slightly now that the holidays are over.
In the beginning of the commercial cannabis industry in Washington there was a shortage – and it’s merely the fact that customers have been waiting, but you can only grow so many plants and they only grow so quickly, there’s not a whole lot that can be done about that.
“By summer we’ll be looking at an industry that will look totally different than what it looks like now … come summer ’18, it’s going to be unrecognizable,” Hollister said.
Hopefully, with cultivation facilities now growing cannabis in Anchorage as well as Fairbanks, there will be a much bigger supply, ready to meet the current demand. It’s a growing industry and it will take some time to get things running as smoothly as everyone wants it to – so far things have gone relatively well for Alaska, and as time goes on it’s only going to improve.
Why cannot America get some federal guidance on some type of legalization? Banks cannot be utilized for marijuana transactions and cash has to be used; this is stupid. Each state has different guidelines like Washington D.C. where anyone can have up to two ounces of weed a month for recreational use, give an ounce away to someone as a gift and just minutes down the road in Virginia anyone who has up to a half ounce of weed can be incarcerated for up to thirty days with a mandatory five hundred dollar fine.
A good start will be to declassify marijuana as a Schedule I drug which has no medicinal use whatsoever and reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III drug so that doctors in all fifty states can prescribe to their patients. This will make marijuana legal on the federal level and dispensaries can then use the banks instead of hoarding all this cash and the patients who pay for their medicine will be able to use their credit and debit cards, checks and other forms of payment that banks customarily utilize.
The main reason for all of this is to remove the “bottle necks” that we are seeing as being problematic all over the country with each region having its own source of occurrence. A good federal guide will establish the Food and Drug Administration to oversee the purity and distribution standards of quality of marijuana so that this system can be uniform from the federal level to the state level where each state will have every opportunity to implement which works best for each of its regions.
Another reason for federal guidance is that there are so many patients all across this great country who will be able to benefit from the medicinal use of marijuana in its many forms by prescriptions from their doctor. Studies have indicated that the cannabis plant has curative powers that far exceed those in present prescription application. Each patient can have a discussion with their doctor on whether or not some form of the marijuana plant can be beneficial for a happier and healthier life. “Contrary to popular belief” the side effect of “being high” does not have to be part of the treatment with this herb however, relief from arthritis pain, anxiety, asthma and a host of other debilitating chronic ailments can be achieved by safe access to this natural plant and we Americans now do need federal guidance. This is just smart.