COME OCTOBER THIRD, THE SALE OF MARIJUANA COULD BE BANNED IN THE CITY OF FAIRBANKS, THE FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH, AND THE KENAI PENINSULA BOROUGH, OUTSIDE OF CITIES.
UNLIKE OTHER LOCAL OPTIONS SINCE CANNABIS LEGALIZATION, THERE ARE OPEN BUSINESSES, AND BIG INVESTMENTS, AT STAKE.
IN FAIRBANKS, THERE ARE A TOTAL OF 22 CULTIVATION FACILITIES, 3 MANUFACTURING FACILITIES, AND 5 RETAIL MARIJUANA STORES CURRENTLY LICENSED TO OPERATE.
IN THE KENAI BOROUGH, 2 CULTIVATION FACILITIES AND ONE RETAIL STORE.
IF YOU TAKE A CRUISE UP THE CHENA RIVER...
YOU CAN STILL FIND A BIT OF A BREAK FROM THE FALL COLORS.
"it's like a different kind of pharmacy."
A DOCTORS OFFICE TO SOME CUSTOMERS... AN ARCTIC DREAM TO OTHERS.
"can i just look at it? Yeah, absolutely."
EITHER WAY, OWNER DANIEL PETERS SEES A WHOLE LOT OF GREEN COMING IN AND OUT OF GOODSINSE.
"so it's like 1:30 in the middle of the week, and we just saw maybe 5 or 10 people come through. is that normal for the middle of the work week?"
"true. yeah. yeah it is. it just increases from 4 to 8:00 at night. it gets pretty busy. yeah."
ALL ACROSS FAIRBANKS, MARIJUANA IS BECOMING BIG BUSINESS.
JUST ASK THE CITY COUNCIL.
HERE AT CITY HALL, MAYOR JIM MATHERLY SAYS THEY WERE EXPECTING TO SEE ABOUT 20-THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR IN TAX REVENUE FROM THE SALE OF CANNABIS.
"of course that's exceeded and blown out of the water the estimate. We're pushing 200-thousand dollars income."
BUT THE MAYOR WILL ALSO TELL YOU... THEY'VE NEVER SEEN A SOURCE OF INCOME DIVIDE FAIRBANKS LIKE MARIJUANA.
"Not like this. no. not like this. "
"like any other business, you just you got struggles you have to face and when you start you know that going in. but this one has a particular edge to it that's just doesn't feel good."
THAT'S BECAUSE IN TWO WEEKS, DANIEL PETERS MIGHT HAVE TO CLOSE HIS DOORS.
"that's, it's literally, pshew. you shut it down."
"It's... it's my livelihood. I'm potentially looking at a multimillion dollar business and potentially looking at it go away. it's a really big deal. i've got over 500-thousand dollars invested in this right now."
THERE'S A VOTE HAPPENING THAT WOULD MAKE THE SALE, PURCHASE, AND CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA ILLEGAL.
PROPOSITION A WOULD BAN RETAIL IN THE CITY, AND PROPOSITION 1 WOULD BAN IT IN THE BOROUGH.
"this is a decision that needs to be made by the voters."
JIM OSTLIND IS THE CHAIR OF SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS FAIRBANKS.
HE SAYS, WHILE MANY VOTERS MAY HAVE FELT MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL IN THE STATE... THEY DON'T NECESSARILY WANT A GROW OPERATION IN THEIR BACKYARD.
"If a marijuana business wants to open up next door to somebody, they're going to have a new neighbor and it's going to be a marijuana business because that's the way it works."
Despite the zoning regulations set in place by the state some times marijuana retail shops can end up in what seem like residential area. for example, this is the parking lot for good since, this is a house. but the woman who lives here told me off camera that she doesn't really have a problem with it. and that's something that the owner says he's heard from other residents as well. "
"We're not surrounded by residential neighbors directly but we've got neighbors right down the way that really provide a great income source for us."
WHILE SOME MAY NOT MIND... OSTLIND SAYS THE RESIDENTS THAT *DO*, ARE BEING IGNORED.
"So far, the borough assembly has granted 20 conditional use permits for these marijuana businesses. and you know how many they've rejected? none. this is wrong."
"I know that generally Fairbanks has favored general use zoning because they want their freedoms protected. and i think if they look at it carefully they'd see that this is really the same issue."
FREEDOM *FOR, OR FREEDOM *FROM CANNABIS?
"they made a business decision here and they're going to have to live with it one way or the other."
SO WILL THIS NEW INDUSTRY GET A CHANCE TO GROW....
OR WILL NEW BARRIERS BE BUILT TO STOP IT?