Marijuana retailer fighting ballot measure to outlaw sales locally
Proposition 1 will close pot operations if it passes in municipal elections
Valdez Star photo
Herbal Outfitters, the retail marijuana store, is urging Valdez voters to say "no" to proposition 1, the ballot measure that would outlaw commercial pot inside the city limits.
Alaska's only continuously-open retail marijuana outlet is preparing to fight against an upcoming ballot measure that - if passed - will force its doors to close.
Herbal Outfitters is passes out signs that can be placed on lawns against Proposition 1 - the only measure that is slated to be on ballot in the municipal elections that will be held in Valdez on May 2.
The "Vote No on Prop 1" signs are available for pickup during regular business hours according to Suzanne Hickman, who is employed by Herbal Outfitters to check the identification of all people that enter the store's premises.
The store is also handing out voter registration forms for customers that may not already be registered to vote. There is a copy of Proposition 1 attached to the forms to show customers what will be on the ballot.
Proposition 1 seeks to ban commercial marijuana within the Valdez city limits - including retail sales and marijuana cultivation and testing facilities.
Herbal Outfitters is the only licensed retail store in Valdez, but there are two licensed cultivation facilities, Alaska Greenery and DKW Farms. If Proposition 1 is passed by a majority of Valdez voters, Herbal Outfitters and both legal growing operations will be forced to close doors 30 days after its passage.
Valdez Star photo
Voter registration forms are available at the entry desk at Herbal Outfitters on Fairbanks Street, along with lawn signs urging voters to just say "no" to Proposition 1.
The ban would also apply to a ten-mile radius outside the city limits, as per state law.
Proposition 1 cannot outlaw the personal use and growing of marijuana under state law.
When Alaska voters passed the statewide ballot measure that legalized commercial marijuana, it contained provisions to allow local governments to regulate it, and outright ban commercial operations.
Valdez city government chose the city council and the regulatory body for commercial marijuana - and it has not opposed the issuance of state licenses to the three commercial operations currently open for business locally.
However, a group of marijuana opponents led by Carl Hedman, a local pastor, submitted a citizen's initiative that put the question before Valdez voters in the upcoming elections.