- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Delta Junction City Council has approved a ban on marijuana businesses in the city 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks.

The city’s vote to prohibit the growing, testing, manufacturing and selling of pot makes it the first Interior Alaska community to do so, according to a representative of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (https://bit.ly/1UPjtON).

Mayor Pete Hallgren said Wednesday that city officials are not looking to prohibit marijuana operations outside the city’s jurisdiction, although the ban extends 10 miles outside city limits per state regulations.

The state rule says the Alaska Marijuana Control Board may not issue, renew or transfer a license for a marijuana establishment “with premises located within the boundary of the local government or in the unincorporated area within ten miles of the boundaries of the local government” if the local governing body or the voters prohibit commercial marijuana.

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott signed off on the 10-mile rule and other regulations for the marijuana industry on Jan. 22. The rules were approved by the Marijuana Control Board and take effect Feb. 21.

Hallgren said 75 percent of people who consider themselves residents of Delta Junction’s greater community live outside city limits in the unincorporated area.

“We know that people who live outside the city limits enjoy their freedom,” said Hallgren. “Some people thought the city was trying to extend its tentacles. That wasn’t our intent at all.”

However, Hallgren said, the greater community spans about 30 miles outside the city’s jurisdiction, making it possible for residents to partake in the marijuana industry.

The commercial ban does not have an effect on personal use, said Frank Berardi, of the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation.

“The people there who are into cannabis and who want cannabis can still consume and grow there,” said Berardi. “They can look elsewhere to start a business.”

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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