Council will consider first commercial cannabis farm in city

  • Alaska Loven It plans to operate a marijuana standard cultivation facility in this 5,000-square-foot building, shown in this Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 photo, on Kachemak Drive near the east end of the Homer Airport runway. Alaska Training Room currently uses the front of the building, but owner Mary Jo Campbell said she plans to move this month to a new location on Ocean Drive. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News).
  • Alaska Loven It plans to operate a marijuana standard cultivation facility in this 5,000-square-foot building, shown in this Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 photo, on Kachemak Drive near the east end of the Homer Airport runway. Alaska Training Room currently uses the front of the building, but owner Mary Jo Campbell said she plans to move this month to a new location on Ocean Drive. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News).

In another milestone for the commercial cannabis industry, the Homer City Council at its meeting Monday, Jan. 22, reviews the application of what could be the first licensed cultivation facility in city limits.

Alaska Loven It seeks a standard marijuana cultivation facility for its operation on Kachemak Drive. As part of Alaska’s legal marijuana licensing process, just as it would for a liquor license, the city council has an opportunity to review the Alaska Loven It application and make its recommendation.

City Clerk Melissa Jacobsen said the application is on the consent agenda as a memorandum. Items on the consent agenda are considered as a group and approved as a whole without discussion, but any council member may request the item be pulled. Mayor Bryan Zak also can ask that an item be removed from the consent agenda. The public can comment on the application during the “comments on any matter on the agenda” portion at the start of the meeting beginning at 6 p.m. in the Cowles Council Chambers.

Owned by partners Dan Coglianese of Homer and Janiese Stevens of Kodiak, Alaska Loven It plans a cultivation facility in a 5,000-square-foot metal building near the east end of the Homer Airport runway. They lease the building from landlords Eric and Trina Fellows, who do business as Kachemak Properties. Alaska Training Room rents the front of the building, but owner Mary Jo Campbell said she plans to move to a new location by Feb. 1.

City Planner Rick Abboud said he has reviewed the application. Alaska Loven It is located in the General Commercial 2 (GC2) zoning district. Under revisions made in to the code regulating commercial cannabis operations in the city, a large cultivation facility is allowed in the GC2 area and does not require a conditional use permit — that is, approval by the Homer Advisory Planning Commission.

“I approved it as far as the code goes,” Abboud said Monday in a phone interview. “They seem to be complying with everything I could find.”

Abboud said he did have some issues with Alaska Loven It’s lighting plan and wanted to make sure it wasn’t blasting high beam lights.

“That was the kind of stuff I was looking for,” Abboud said.

The building is about halfway down Kachemak Drive between the Homer Spit Road and East End Road. The neighborhood is a mixture of moose and wildlife habitat, the airport, boat storage yards, aircraft hangars, and houses ranging from small dry cabins to expensive homes with Kachemak Bay views.

Under the Alaska Marijuana Control Office’s rigorous application process, Alaska Loven It filed a 142-page application that includes things like its site plan, a security plan, owner criminal background checks, growing operation, disposal of waste cannabis products, and air filtration design. Under “Odor control,” for example, the plans says that “a 12-inch in line fan with 150-pound coal carbon filter on the end will be used to control odor.”

The application can be reviewed online at https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/9/pub/MCB/CompleteMJApps/128...

Reached at the building site on Tuesday, Alaska Loven It co-owner Dan Coglianese said the application has since been updated. He and his partner have been working on the project for 14 months.

“It’s not an easy road to go down,” he said.

Coglianese said he didn’t want to comment in great detail on the project while it went through the application process. He did say Alaska Loven It hopes “to be one of the leaders in the state as far as quality.”

According to the AMCO website, Alaska Loven It’s application has been designated complete and will be considered at the AMCO Board meeting on Jan. 23. Once the board approves an application, the applicant still has to receive other approvals such as a fire marshal and building inspection. Coglianese said he didn’t want to speculate on when his cultivation facility would be ready to start shipping finished cannabis to retailers.

Reach Michael Armstrong at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

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