The amended ordinance remains steadfast in its ban of on-site consumption of marijuana and other cannabis products. That is a stark contrast to many of its fellow cities and communities — like Juneau, which allowed on-site consumption in select locales. However, the amended ordinance will allow double the number of shops than its original version.
The council members debated the many proposed amendments to the ordinance. Although, the limit on the number of shops seemed to be the most contested issue.
Mayor Jim Matherly, who proposed the original ordinance, stated that he chose the number to be 12 due to the number of shops open and slated to be opened.
However, the council moved to increase the limit to 25, stating that it would only be fair to allow all the businesses that have submitted applications and had already spent their money to open if their applications were approved.
After a heated debate, the council passed the amendment setting the new limit to 25, thanks to the tie-breaking vote of Mayor Matherly.
Another new provision that was approved was the requirement that there be a buffer zone of at least 750 feet between marijuana shops and schools, residential areas, and rehab facilities.
However, proponents in the councils did not manage to persuade the majority to allow consumption of marijuana and other cannabis products at select locales.
The ordinance, along with its new amendments, was approved unanimously in the council. But Mayor Matherly implied that this was likely not the last time people would hear of this ordinance.
With the ordinance passed, this was the first time that the Fairbanks’ marijuana industry has had a full set of rules to follow.