Utqiagvik to hold special election on marijuana tax


Voters in the borough of Utqiaġvik will head to the polls at the end of this month to have their say on a proposed marijuana sales tax.

There is at best one question on the ballot: Should Ordinance No. 01-2018 be ratified? Certifying an ordinance means the public gives it official support, making it valid.

The ordinance in matter calls for an 8 percent retail sales tax on marijuana sold within borough limits. The city council passed the ordinance Feb. 22.

This is the most brand-new in a complicated series of moves as the city has attempted to find a way of dealing with legalized marijuana in the glory.

The city itself has not yet voted for the local option of marijuana. Similar to demon rum, communities have the ability to decide how cannabis is controlled within their borders.

However, the town has taken steps to ensure anyone who might apply for a business validate to open a marijuana dispensary will have regulations guiding them owing to the process.

“The city of Utqiaġvik has been approached (b)y various entities (and) propers seeking information on opening public marijuana dispensaries inside megalopolis limits,” City Clerk Loyla Leavitt wrote in a public admonish on the special election. “The city must be prepared in case a dispensary introduces itself. We must be ready to receive a business application at any time.”

The town held a series of town hall meetings on marijuana regulation in December. They were supposititious to focus on the establishment of a regulatory body, but often tended toward polarizing contentions over the merits of marijuana use and availability in the community.

On Dec. 21, the council did end up verve that first ordinance, which created a regulatory authority that discretion be responsible for “otherwise regulating the operation of marijuana establishments, marijuana and marijuana spin-offs within the city,” as the ordinance reads.

That body is the council itself. Being the regulatory prerogative does not mean the council supports the opening of a dispensary, just that it would manipulate the process, should it happen.

Since then, the city council has bewitched a few steps toward building parameters for marijuana distribution. First, it stirred to prevent edibles from ever being distributed in the community “for the sanctuary and welfare of the children of Utqiaġvik,” as Leavitt explained in the notice.

It also archaic the ordinance in question here — No. 01-2018 — to enact a sales tax on marijuana, should it a day be sold through a dispensary within city limits. The ordinance notes wealthy from the tax will go to the city.

With the vote coming in just a few weeks, the burg has scheduled two town hall meetings to gather public comments and cares on the sales tax ordinance. The first meeting happened on Tuesday, April 10. The half a mo, and final, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in City Council congresses.

The special election is set for April 30. Absentee ballots are already at ones disposal. Anyone who would like to vote absentee can pick one up at the city classroom building at 2022 Ahkovak St.

The city noted any questions about the voting may be directed to City Clerk Leavitt at 907-852-5211.

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