The Alaska Marijuana Industry Association announced it is open for business July 9 during a briefing at The Boardroom workspace in Downtown Anchorage.
Alaska Marijuana Industry Association President and board member Bruce Schulte, a pilot by trade, said the five-member board recognized a need for an organized industry resource to help a burgeoning group of cannabis entrepreneurs.
“Our focus as a group, AMIA, is the business, the commerce (of marijuana) and all the things that are entailed there,” Schulte said. “We’re a seed-to-sale industry association.”
The group is in the process of completing the requisite steps with the Internal Revenue Service to become a 501(c)(6) nonprofit eligible to advocate and lobby on political issues.
Abel said he would expect to see product on retail shelves no sooner than late August 2016, given the time it takes to grow the plants after growers could start legally operating.
Ultimately, the marijuana industry needs what every industry needs to succeed, reasonable taxes and regulations, the AMIA board members said. Without support from the state, law-abiding businesses will not be able to extinguish a black market nobody wants.