Commercial marijuana business gets green light

  • In this photo taken in January, Alaska Loven It plans to operate a marijuana standard cultivation facility in this 5,000-square-foot building on Kachemak Drive near the east end of the Homer Airport runway. Alaska Training Room had rented the front space, but moved out in January. (Photo by Michael Armstrong / Homer News).

The applicant of a marijuana cultivation facility inside Homer city limits has been given the go-ahead to proceed with his operation after a snafu with too many plants led to intervention by the Alaska Marijuana Control Board.

Co-owners Dan Coglianese and of Homer and Janiese Stevens of Kodiak were most of the way through their application process to open Alaska Loven It in part of a 5,000-square-foot building on Kachemak Drive when members of Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board were alerted to odors coming from the part of the building rented by the operation.

The Homer Police Department, which had previously signed off on the business, helped the board discover the operation had 24 marijuana plants on site, which was in excess of personal use plants. At its meeting in January, the board deemed growing the plants ahead of licensing was in violation of regulations and unanimously denied the business’s application. The Homer City Council followed suit by officially objecting to the business license.

However, at Monday’s council meeting, the council voted on a memorandum to rescind that objection, giving its approval for AK Loven It to continue on toward operation. AMCO reconsidered and voted to approve the AK Loven It license after Director Erika McConnell met with Stevens to discuss changes that would help avoid a similar misunderstanding in the future.

“Dan and Janiese originally entered into this venture together with the understanding that Dan would primarily be the onsite licensee, who would provide the majority of licensing process, providing the sweat equity labor, and handling all compliance,” attorney Jana Weltzin wrote in a letter to McConnell in March.

She wrote that Coglianese had hired a “compliance focused” staff member who was to be in charge of cross checking regulation compliance with actions at the operation. This person has since been let go, according to the letter.

“After the incident in January 2018, Dan and Janiese have come to understand that Dan is not the right half of the partnership to handle regulatory compliance, statutory interpretation, or staff or board direction — all those types of duties should be in Janiese’s sphere of control,” Weltzin wrote.

The board approved AK Loven It’s license to go forward, with the condition that all other appropriate entities also approve it. Following that lead, council members voted Monday to remove their protest to the business.

Coglianese was in attendance at the meeting but chose not to address the council.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@homernews.com.

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