The first license for a commercial marijuana cultivation business in Petersburg was approved by the Alaska Marijuana Control Board, Feb. 2. As KFSK’s Angela Denning reports SE Moog Droog will likely be growing marijuana by the end of the month:
The Marijuana Control Board met all day and didn’t take up the Petersburg license until late in the afternoon. But when it did the decision didn’t take long. The board considered about 20 license applications that day and asked several questions about some of them. But SE Moog Droog’s owner, Gary Morgan says he made sure he had all his ducks in a row before the meeting.
“My application was very detailed and complete so I think I was able to forgo a lot of those questions,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s commercial grow operation will be located on his private property where he lives in Papkes subdivision ten miles South of Petersburg.
With the board’s approval SE Moog Droog has only a few final steps to get a license in hand. Morgan still needs to get the okay from the State Fire Marshall. He says he’s submitted more than 150 pages of documents and expects that will take another couple of weeks to be approved.
Morgan also needs software training on a program specifically designed for marijuana businesses. And his cultivation site needs to be inspected by an enforcement officer with the state’s Marijuana Control Office. The officer will be looking at locks and camera systems on site and making sure everything is up to code. Morgan hopes to have that complete by the end of February.
“At that time, I should be fully operational,” Morgan said. “We’re probably looking at another four months before my product’s ready and, of course, there will also be a dry and cure, which takes another ten days and testing which takes another three or four days at best.”
After the first plants are grown Morgan expects to be cycling through product every two months.
Regulations require that the finished product is tested for potency and other specifics. There are no local laboratories for that so Morgan says he will likely get his buds tested in Anchorage. Currently growers can transport the product in special containers on planes.
SE Moog Droog will be located near Morgan’s home in a windowless steel Quonset hut style building with two rooms, one for growing smaller plants and the other for flowering mature plants. In his application, Morgan explains how he would deal with ventilation and odor control, plant waste, water waste, as well as packaging the product.
He says it’s been a lot of paperwork.
“You have to have hard copies, they can’t take electronic copies of stuff so everything is certified, notified, and sent off. It just is a long process,” Morgan said. “So, I’m really looking forward to getting to work with the plants and not lick paper. Plants, everything you give them they give you back and with paperwork it just seems like it’s a never ending black hole so at least with plants you can see some progress.”
SE Moog Droog is the only Petersburg marijuana business that has gotten this far in the licensing process. There is only one other local application in to the state. That’s for a proposed retail marijuana store called “The 420” owned by Susan Burrell. Her application is currently under review. Morgan hopes to sell his pot to the local store in the future but says his first sales will likely be off island.
There are already retail stores up and running in Sitka, Skagway, and Juneau. A few stores in Ketchikan have been approved by the state board but haven’t opened yet.