opening a dispensary in alaska

6 min read

How to Open a Dispensary in Alaska 

January 25, 2023

This blog contains information for those willing to know how to open a dispensary in Alaska. Both medicinal and recreational marijuana in Alaska has been legal since 2015. Adults aged 21 and over may consume cannabis in the state. They might start their own cannabis company and engage in this rapidly expanding industry. You must, however, be aware of the state and local laws associated with marijuana businesses to ensure you comply with them. You can get acquainted with details about Alaska marijuana laws by clicking here.

Also, we want to inform you that Failure to follow the state’s comprehensive marijuana laws for dispensaries can result in severe penalties, including the denial or revocation of your marijuana license.

Though the industry is newly legalized, it generates millions of dollars in sales yearly. After all, the state has the most retail cannabis dispensaries per capita in the country. Hence the industry is highly competitive, and cannabis entrepreneurs must be astute to keep their businesses afloat.  

How to Get a Dispensary License in Alaska 

Are you wondering how to get a dispensary license in Alaska? The Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) is the state agency in charge of retail cannabis licensing in Alaska. 

You are to visit the AMCO licensing page, which has electronic applications for those who want to apply for marijuana license renewals and new marijuana establishments licenses; After you apply for an initial online application, you must submit additional documents, also ensure proper public notice, including to notify your local government. 

After completing your application, AMCO will begin a 60-day evaluation period. After that, the company will check your proposed location and grant you a license if it satisfies all requirements.

The Marijuana Control Board does not limit the number of adult-use marijuana licenses it can issue at the state level. However, under state laws, local governments are eligible to restrict the time, place, manner, and number of marijuana licenses. You should check with your local government to learn about the local limitations on where to open a dispensary. Alaska’s adult-use marijuana industry oversees six types of marijuana establishment licenses: 

  1. Standard Marijuana Cultivation Facilities;
  2. Limited Marijuana Cultivation Facilities;
  3. Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities;
  4. Marijuana Concentrate Manufacturing Facilities;
  5. Marijuana Testing Manufacturing Facilities;
  6. Retail Marijuana Store.

New Alaska dispensary license application forms are available on the website of the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office. The licensing application also requires the submission of additional papers. Keep in mind that various supplementary documents are needed for multiple types of licenses.

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Dispensary in Alaska?

Application Fees and Startup Costs

  • New Application Fee – $,1000
  • Fingerprint Fee – $48.25 (per person associated with the application)

License Fee

  • Retail Marijuana Store – $5,000

Renewal Fee  

  • Retail Marijuana Store -$7,000

How to Draft a Business Plan for Your Dispensary in Alaska

Another key point to knowing how to open a dispensary in Alaska is drafting a comprehensive business plan. We strongly advise you to begin developing a cannabis dispensary business plan before taking any further action. A comprehensive and well-written business plan is essential in the application process for state licensing. It might also help attract investors to your dispensary business in Alaska. According to statistics, business owners in other industries are twice as likely to expand their companies and get financing if they have a detailed business plan than those who don’t. Your chances of being granted a cannabis business license will be increased by paying close attention to every aspect of your business plan. 

Can I Open a Dispensary in Alaska Now? 

Application deadlines are not set. The Marijuana Control Board will continue receiving applications throughout the year and will discuss license applications at regularly scheduled meetings.

How to Stay Compliant in Alaska  

If you want to open a dispensary in Alaska, it should be made clear that choosing the right partners is of the greatest priority.

In Alaska, Metrc offers statewide tracking and reporting from seed to sale. Retailers are required to implement a tracking system for their marijuana inventory that can share information with Metrc.

Using IndicaOnline software, you never have to be concerned about all the restrictions and regulations your state sets. IndicaOnline receives all the new requirements directly from Metrc and adjusts your operations without you lifting a finger. 

It will keep your dispensary compliant by automated state reporting, including inventory proficiency by a product tracking system, carrying out purchase limits, and providing customer management processes. 

IndicaOnline is an all-in-one compliant solution for dispensaries – POS software, delivery, and e-commerce platforms. And it’s for the best price on the market. You never have to worry about inventory updates or customer management with us. Our seamless automation handles it all. 

How to Choose the Right Location to Open a Dispensary in Alaska

Marijuana dispensary locations in Alaska must adhere to local zoning ordinances like other states in the USA. Within 500 feet of the following locations, the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office will not issue permits to dispensaries:

  • Outer boundaries of youth centers;
  • Recreational centers;
  • School premises;
  • Buildings where religious services are conducted;
  • Correctional facilities.

You must verify your local city ordinances to ensure compliance, as city ordinances may change these criteria.

You can start the application process whenever you show that you own a suitable property or are under a lease or rental arrangement.

How to Get Funding to Start a Dispensary in Alaska

It is improbable that you will be able to borrow money from a bank in Alaska when starting your cannabis dispensary business. Cannabis is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance and is banned on a federal level. Due to this fact, most banks and credit card firms won’t cooperate with you in any way. This implies that you won’t be able to borrow money for your company from your bank.

However, you can launch your marijuana business in Alaska with cannabis-focused finance companies. To assist you in growing and expanding your cannabis business in Alaska, these businesses offer financing options for small and medium-sized cannabis businesses in the region. They provide funds and loans such as vendor financing, working capital loans, lines of credit, loans for dispensaries, and loans for equipment.

Therefore, be sure to get their contact details so that you can reach out and start getting ready for your marijuana dispensary business experience!


Get your start in Alaska’s medical and recreational marijuana industry. Learn the latest business regulations of your state, including the program type, license availability, application link, and licensing fees, to ensure you comply with all state and local government laws and regulations. 

We are committed to making starting and operating a dispensary in Alaska as simple as possible for you.

The qualified team of IndicaOnline will help you safeguard and streamline the operations of your cannabis dispensary. Our team is always keen on creating software tailored to your business’s needs and covers all the necessary aspects, from development through delivery.

So then, you can focus on creating the best customer experience by providing them with the service they deserve.  Let’s do big things together!