Sitka’s Marijuana Advisory Committee wants the state to funnel half of the marijuana tax revenue back to local communities (Photo from 401kcalculator.org)

On Tuesday (01-26-16), the Assembly distributed several awards of recognition and heard a proposal from the Marijuana Advisory Committee regarding taxations on marijuana products.

The state plans to levy a $50 per ounce tax on marijuana cultivators. The Sitka group thinks 50-percent of that tax revenue should go back to local communities and wanted to Assembly to write a letter supporting the measure.

Chair Levi Albertson described it as a “Hail Mary” of a request, but one that could boost municipal economies. “In speaking with members of the public, it became apparent that many people voting on this initiative voted with the reasoning it would inject a fair amount of tax revenue back into the communities,” Albertson said. After deliberations, the Assembly voted unanimously to write that letter.

Last meeting, the Assembly also supported the Committee in requesting the state reduce the legal buffer between marijuana businesses and schools from 500 feet to 200 feet.  Lt. Governor Byron Mallott signed the state’s marijuana regulations into law on Friday (01-22-16). Albertson hoped it wasn’t too late for small communities to make waves. “We’re also hoping that as with our setback resolution that other small communities are going to jump on board with this.”

The Assembly also honored Mt. Edgecumbe High School wrestlers for their state championship and Peter Gorman, for his 12 years of service on the Historic Preservation Commission.


Sitka Mayor Mim McConnell distributes certificates to state championship wrestlers from Mt. Edgecumbe High School. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)


Peter Gorman was honored for his twelve years of continued service on Historic Preservation Commission. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

During special reports, City Administrator Mark Gorman informed the Assembly that the float plane dock may have to be condemned due to failing pilings. This would mean Sitka has no city-supported float plane access until a new facility is built.

He mentioned also that Alaska Bulk Water Incorporated missed the deadline to make a 1-million payment to keep its contract and that the city is considering giving the company a 30-day contract. “We will be preparing to go on the street in the event ABWI doesn’t come forward with the million dollars,” he added.

In committee business, the Assembly re-appointed Barbara Bingham to the Library Commission. Several assembly members mentioned how many of Sitka’s boards, committees, and commissions have empty seats and some of can’t achieve quorum. To remedy this, the Assembly passed an ordinance – on first reading – that would allow city employees to serve too, so long as the have no hand in a committee that affects their department or that of a family member.