Skip to main content



The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) is responsible for overseeing and licensing marijuana businesses in Alaska.

In Alaska, all marijuana business licenses are premises-based, which means the first step in applying for a license is securing a suitable location. Proposed marijuana retail store locations must adhere to all local ordinances and zoning codes, as well as the buffer zones set forth in Alaska’s marijuana regulations.

The application fee for a new marijuana establishment is $1,000. You’ll also pay a fingerprint fee of $48.25 for each person associated with the application. The licensing fee for a retail marijuana store is $5,000.

Payment processing can indeed be a complex aspect of running a cannabis business in Alaska, as the industry is still federally illegal, which can create obstacles for accessing traditional banking and payment processing services. As a result, many cannabis businesses in Alaska have to rely on cash transactions, which can be risky and inconvenient. PayRio is here to alleviate your stressors and provide your business with the compliance and security it needs to thrive.

Contact PayRio today to learn more about our payment processing solutions for Alaska cannabusinesses.


On May 16, 1975, Alaska became the second state in the U.S. to decriminalize cannabis. The Alaska Supreme Court became the first – and only – U.S. state or federal court to announce a constitutional right to privacy that protects some level of marijuana use and possession.

The state first legalized medical marijuana in 1998, allowing patients with qualifying medical conditions to access and use cannabis for medical purposes.

In November 2014, voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, making Alaska one of the first states in the United States to do so. Under the law, adults aged 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of marijuana or its equivalents, and can grow up to six plants for personal use.

Retail sales of recreational marijuana began in October 2016, with the state generating significant tax revenue from cannabis sales. Alaska has also implemented social equity provisions in its cannabis regulations, such as prioritizing licenses for those from communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Overall, Alaska has embraced cannabis legalization and regulation, allowing for both medical and recreational use while also promoting social equity in the industry.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.