Mayor lets Anchorage pot shops stay open amid emergency shutdown

    While all non-essential Anchorage businesses are under direct orders from Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to close shop in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, recreational marijuana dispensaries are exempted and remain ready to sell pre-rolled joints, gourmet edibles and a host of weed related accessories.

    Berkowitz issued his order on March 23, mandating most businesses to close and send employees home. Businesses deemed “critical,” however, are exempted. These include companies that deal in groceries, the transport of goods and services, construction trades, utility operations, health care providers, food service delivery, critical government operations and several others. Recreational marijuana dispensaries are listed among these “critical” services.

    The pot shop offers dozens of flavored buds, along with THC infused candies and cookies and a host of marijuana accoutrements.

    Berkowitz’s order went into effect at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and continues until March 31. The stated aim is to address “a public health emergency that threatens to overwhelm our health system, endangering the lives and wellbeing of the people of Anchorage.”

    Employees at House of Green Recreational Marijuana Dispensary confirmed that they are keeping normal business hours in accord with the mayor’s orders. The pot shop offers dozens of flavored buds, along with THC infused candies and cookies and a host of marijuana accoutrements.

    Cannabaska on Tudor Road is also open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to midnight to meet the marijuana necessities of Anchorage residents.


    Other non-essential stores, however, are required to close. These include workout facilities, salons, clothing outlets, car dealerships, tattoo parlors, sporting goods stores and many others. Violators will be subject to civil penalties, according to the city’s website.

    Businesses forced to shut down can, however, utilize telecommuting or work from home procedures.

    During the emergency shut down, Berkowitz is asking Anchorage residents to stay home except to get fresh air or access critical services.

    Those who believe their business should be deemed “critical,” can contact the city at or call (907) 343-4019 to request an opinion from the mayor.

    Click here to read Berkowitz’s order.

    Click here to read frequently asked questions about the order.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

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