City Council approves pot shop, but postpones on-site consumption decision

Sep 26, 2017

Credit Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Southern Kenai Peninsula’s first retail marijuana shop is one step closer to opening its doors. The Homer City Council approved a memorandum voicing its non-objection to Uncle Herb’s setting up shop on Ocean Drive, a formal step taken after the state Marijuana Control Board approved the retail store earlier this month.

Owner Loyd Stiassny expressed his gratitude to the council at the end of the meeting. Stiassny has already opened another retail shop in Anchorage under the same name.

He told the council he’s looking forward to doing business in Homer. Stiassny noted that he wants to set an example and show the community the marijuana industry can operate responsibly.

In other business, the council postponed its decision on whether to send a letter supporting on-site consumption to the Marijuana Control Board.

The Cannabis Advisory Committee sent the recommendation to the council last month. However, the committee’s recommendation excludes smoking pot due to concerns over first responders and law enforcement inhaling smoke if they need to enter a marijuana establishment.

It does state that vaping pot would be allowed, but council members wanted to research whether marijuana vapor would also be a concern. The council is set to revisit the issue at its next meeting.

The council also voted down an ordinance that would give disabled veterans a small property tax break on top of the state’s $150,000 exemption.

The new exemption would have accounted for about $7,200 in revenue, but other council members voiced concern over the timing, citing the $1.2 million budget gap the city will face in 2019. The measure’s sponsor, council member Tom Stroozas, was the only one to vote in favor of the exemption.