After getting Alaska Green Resources up and running, my next step was becoming involved locally. In my case I became very vocal during borough assembly meetings when there were proposals that threatened my ultimate long-term goal of getting into that laid-back world of gardening I was after. My entire community somehow became a very unified voice and made a huge presence in our borough assembly hall. And we did this several times; each time we succeeded and felt more accomplished.
Much time went into public testimony preparation, sharing the message with others and even holding rallies. But we did it.
It became clear to me that the people have the power to impact the writing of the regulations. And this is key, as the threat of over-regulating could end it all before it ever began. Then, in two years, when it could possibly go up for a vote to repeal, you are right back where you started. A lot of hard work for nothing. I knew it was not something I would give up on, and began to realize that a key part of all this was to educate my community and reach out in a positive way so as to demonstrate the reality of safe, responsible cannabis users.
Community support is an ally that cannot be matched. Fundraisers for local charities are a great way to educate your community and make a nice donation to a charity in need.
In a more official sense, any opportunity to participate with local municipal authorities such as the city council or a borough assembly can provide a platform to exchange valid information with those in charge of final regulations. This does raise the bar on the time it takes to stay current and knowledgeable but has great reward.
Currently this is the phase I find myself in as we approach deadline for the state Marijuana Control Board to have completed regulations. This is a precarious road; it seems very much over-written thus far and is far too restrictive. This will not promote a good conversion rate from the black market into the legal market and it will fail. If constructive input can be given from the public and considered by the board then functional regulations will allow this industry to thrive. Potential business owners will need to find banking options, insurance requirements, a business structure that minimizes tax obligation and many, many more facets to succeed. It will then be time to assemble the team of professionals…
Dollynda Phelps, the co-owner of a drywall contracting business, has gone from holding a “Yes on 2” sign on the sidewalk to founding Alaska Green Resources. She and her husband, Jeff, plan on operating a cannabis cultivation business when the appropriate license becomes available.