Fairbanks, the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the Kenai Peninsula Borough are considering outlawing retail marijuana businesses. The voters will decide on October 3. Businesses in these areas are already up and running, it would be a financial loss to them should the voters decide to ban the recreational marijuana industry.
Thirty businesses could be forced to close in Fairbanks alone, according to KTUU 2 News. The businesses are also bringing in more revenues than city officials expected. The first estimate of Mayor Jim Matherly’s officials was around $20,000.
Daniel Peters of Goodsinse said, “It’s my livelihood. I’ve got over 500-thousand dollars invested in this right now.”
Matherly said, “Of course that’s exceeded and blown out of the water the estimate. We’re pushing $200,000.00 income.”
Matherly also commented that no other issue has divided Fairbanks like marijuana has. Some just have issues with zoning of the recreational marijuana businesses. Neighborhoods are being built in non-residential zones, which means that marijuana shops may end up being a neighbor to a resident.
Jim Ostlind, anti-marijuana advocate, said, “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.”
Goodsinse does have a residential neighbor. There have been zero complaints and the neighbor has said she doesn’t mind having the business there. Peters said that several of his nearby neighbors frequent Goodsinse as customers.
Ostlind claims that those opposing where some retail marijuana shops are located are being ignored.
Ostlind said, “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.”
Recreational marijuana business viability will be left up to the voters on October 3.