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​​Get the facts about marijuanaGet the facts for your family. Learn more about the health effects of marijuana.
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Alaska Marijuana Fact Sheet - thumbnail image 

Get the Facts

Personal non-medical marijuana use and possession became legal in Alaska on February 24, 2015, as determined by voters through the passage of Ballot Measure 2.

What is Marijuana or Cannabis?

Alaska law defines marijuana as leaves, stems, or flowers (the “buds”) of the marijuana plant; marijuana concentrates, such as oils, hashes, and waxes; and a wide variety of marijuana-infused products, such as edibles, tinctures, and topicals.[12] The marijuana (i.e., Cannabis) plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that makes you feel high.[8] Marijuana is most often used by smoking or by consuming food containing THC. Marijuana smoke has a distinctive pungent odor, often referred to as both sweet and sour or “skunky.”[8]


Marijuana and Employers

The changing landscape of state marijuana laws, lack of scientific information on the health impacts of marijuana ingestion, and increased acceptability of use have created a confusion for some employers and their workplace policies and drug testing programs. Learn more about how to address marijuana use among your employees in the context of legalization.

Addiction and the Workplace is designed to help employers consider ways to promote workforce health and protect employee safety.




Pregnancy and Breastfeeding fact sheet Please see our Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding fact sheet.

Please see the following memo issued by the Department of Health and Social Services to Alaskan health care providers regarding marijuana use during pregnancy.

Additional Resources


Health Effects of Marijuana

Health Effects Of Marijuana Fact Sheet 

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke from marijuana has many of the same chemicals as smoke from tobacco. This includes some chemicals linked to lung cancer.[1]

Secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke is unlikely to make you high. This means it is unlikely a person will fail a workplace urine test or a driving impairment blood test after breathing someone else's marijuana smoke.[1]

Marijuana use is prohibited for use in public places and workplaces. However, the Smokefree Alaska Law defers authority for on-site consumption, in licensed marijuana retailers, to the Alaska Marijuana Control Board. The board voted in favor to allow onsite consumption in retailers who meet the criteria set out in 3 AAC 306.370. Additionally, local smokefree ordinances and governments may provide additional smokefree protections. 


The State of Alaska is committed to preventing the use of marijuana among youth under 21 years of age. Visit the Parents & Adults section for information on how to talk to young people about marijuana and how to prevent them from accessing marijuana.


Visit the Safe Storage & Accessibility section for tips on how to store marijuana to prevent youth and pet access.

Call a veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested marijuana products.


Medical & Retail Marijuana

Medical marijuana and non-medical marijuana are both legal in Alaska. Visit the “Know the Laws” section for more information on marijuana laws in Alaska.

Medical Marijuana

The Alaska Medical Marijuana Registry is a confidential, statewide program. It allows patients with qualifying, debilitating medical conditions to receive a registry identification card. The card allows legal access to medical marijuana. Cards are available to Alaska residents and valid only in Alaska. The registry is managed by the Bureau of Vital Statistics within the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Retail Marijuana

The State of Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) Marijuana Control Board is a regulatory and quasi-judicial agency for the control of cultivation, manufacture and sale of marijuana in the state. This agency leads implementation and oversight of Alaska’s cannabis regulations and related activities. Visit the AMCO website for more information.

A list of approved products available on the marketplace is available here.



Click here for a list of all references.