Jun 2022
3 min

Is Cannabis Legal in Alaska?

Adult use


Both medical and adult use cannabis are available in Alaska.

Medical cannabis use has been allowed in Alaska since 1998. Alaska’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) runs the Medical Marijuana Registry. Patients must be diagnosed with one of the debilitating conditions below to qualify for medical marijuana use:

  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic or severe pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe nausea

Recreational (adult use) cannabis use and licensed sale in Alaska was legalized in November 2014.

Why this is important

Whether a state has medical or recreational cannabis use and sale allowed is important to any current or prospective cannabis business owner because the status of the cannabis regulations largely impacts the business's consumer base.  

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Regulatory Citations for This Article

Universal Citation: AK Stat § 17.38.010 (2014)

(a) In the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, and to enhance individual freedom, the people of the state of Alaska find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older.

(b) In the interest of the health and public safety of our citizenry, the people of the state of Alaska further find and declare that the production and sale of marijuana should be regulated so that

(1) individuals will have to show proof of age before purchasing marijuana;

(2) legitimate, taxpaying business people, and not criminal actors, will conduct sales of marijuana; and

(3) marijuana sold by regulated businesses will be labeled and subject to additional regulations to ensure that consumers are informed and protected.

(c) The people of the state of Alaska further declare that the provisions of this Act are not intended to diminish the right to privacy as interpreted by the Alaska Supreme Court in Ravin v. State of Alaska.

(d) Nothing in this Act proposes or intends to require any individual or entity to engage in any conduct that violates federal law, or exempt any individual or entity from any requirement of federal law, or pose any obstacle to federal enforcement of federal law.

Alaska Measure 8