Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
Your voice in the Aleutians.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The KUCB Newsroom provides newscasts Monday through Thursday at noon and 5 PM on KUCB Radio. You can find many of our local news stories here.

City Leaders Invite Residents To Weigh In On Pot Shop Decision

Greta Mart

City officials are asking Unalaska residents to stop by City Hall Monday evening to speak their minds on the topic of commercial sales of marijuana. Council members want the public to weigh in on whether to allow one or more retail marijuana stores to open on the island.

Unlike the structured, informational format of the town hall hosted by city employees in early November, Monday's meeting will be more of a listening session for council members.

"Council chambers will remain open Monday evening until everyone has had an opportunity to provide their testimony," reads a flyer posted around town advertising the hearing.

If the council decides not to pass any local laws banning the production and/or sale of commercial marijuana in Unalaska, a retail shop could open as soon as mid-to-late May. The state's marijuana board must start accepting applications for business licenses on February 23.

Council member Yudelka Leclere requested Monday's public hearing. Leclere said she felt she has not heard from enough residents to make an informed decision.

"Have we truly listened to testimony from our community? Because the questions that were put in place, I didn't like it, I wrestled with them, they were confusing to a lot of community members and to me. I would like to see us as a community - a community council - allowing that time," Leclere said. "We should have some kind of open forum that dedicates that time for that issue. That's it. We are just taking testimony. Yay or nay."

City attorney Charles Cacciola said at the Dec. 8 city council meeting there is no particular deadline for the city to pass an ordinance banning retail operations, should city leaders decided to go that route. Any such ordinance would go into effect 90 days after passage. Cacciola said that if someone opened an Unalaska pot shop in May, the council would still have the option to shut it later down the line.

It's also true, said Cacciola, that if the council moves to ban retail stores, the public can petition to make a ballot measure and the voters would then decide for or against allowing commercial sales of marijuana.

Unalaska's council members and the mayor plan to be seated in council chambers at city hall from six to eight p.m. this evening. There are no other agenda items scheduled for the meeting, intended to be informal and conversational.

Greta Mart worked for KUCB in 2015 and 2016.
Related Content