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Fairbanks votes on weed ban

FAIRBANKS (AP) — Propositions to shut down the marijuana industry in Fairbanks and the Fairbanks North Star Borough will appear on voters’ ballots this week.

Tuesday’s local elections for the city and borough have propositions to shut down marijuana retailers, cultivators, testing facilities and other marijuana businesses, The Daily News-Miner reported.

Fairbanks city voters will have Proposition A on their ballots but won’t get to vote on the borough’s Proposition 1. The borough ballot measure is available for residents living in the borough but outside the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole.

The city of North Pole and some other Alaska communities blocked the marijuana industry before it could open for business, using a provision contained in the 2014 statewide ballot measure. But if the Fairbanks or North Star Borough propositions pass, it would be the first termination of legal cannabis businesses in the state.

A business would have 90 days to close if one the measures pass in its jurisdiction. Personal use and home-grow marijuana would still be legal under either ban, said Jim Ostlind of Salcha, who spearheaded the borough’s proposition. Former Fairbanks City Councilwoman Vivian Stiver started the city’s proposition.

Four pot shops operate in Fairbanks and three in the borough, with more than a dozen cultivators operating. There also is a cannabis concentrates manufacturer.

Proponents of the propositions argue that the businesses are encroaching on residential areas and that they bring unpleasant odors to neighborhoods, encourage teen use by normalizing marijuana and attract crime.

Opponents of the measures are touting job creation, tax revenue, freedom and safe places to buy marijuana.


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