Homer officials consider opening tourist area to pot sales
HOMER, Alaska (AP) — Homer officials will consider allowing retail marijuana stores on the city’s popular marine tourist draw, the Homer Spit.
The Cannabis Advisory Commission had recommended that officials open up the Spit to retail marijuana establishments.
The City Council responded Wednesday by introducing an ordinance that would allow such sales.
When the city was drafting its regulations for commercial marijuana, the marine commercial district that includes the Spit was not among those where marijuana retail facilities would be allowed, the Homer News reported .
The only districts where pot stores can operate are in Homer’s central business district, two general commercial districts and the East End district.
Councilwoman Shelly Erickson spoke against the ordinance, saying the city had previously decided it would see how retail marijuana stores fared in the other areas.
She expressed concern that allowing commercial marijuana on the Spit could jeopardize federal funding when it comes to expanding the harbor.
“We’re kind of in uncharted waters at this point,” Erickson said.
Council members Rachel Lord and Donna Aderhold advocated for introducing the ordinance so people could comment.
“I really do believe that we need to allow the community to weigh in at a public hearing,” Aderhold said. “Introducing it is not passing it.”
Lord referred to the groundwork laid by the city’s Advisory Planning Commission, Cannabis Advisory Commission and Port and Harbor Advisory Commission.
“If we are going to have commissions and committees, and they do work and they put in time and they make recommendations to us, the idea of not even introducing and allowing a public hearing to occur just doesn’t seem to really respect the work that has happened,” she said.
The ordinance will be the subject of a public hearing at the council’s March 12 meeting.
Information from: The Homer (Alaska) News, http://www.homernews.com