Hometown Alaska: What’s new 7 years after voters said yes to legal marijuana

A healthy cannabis plant. From Wikimedia Commons, Cannabis Training University, [File:Cannabis Plant.jpg|Cannabis_Plant]

So, here’s one new thing: This fall, UAA, our hometown university campus, is offering its first marijuana information class, open to students and community members. How and why did the university decide now was the time to bring this topic to campus? We’ll meet the professor who successfully made the case. She’ll curate the course, using local subject experts to do the teaching.

We’ll also meet a regulator, the new director for the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO). We’ll learn how much money the industry brings into the state, and what some of the regulatory challenges are. One factoid: this office regulates about 2000 alcohol licensees, and between 400-500 marijuana licensees.

And we’ll visit a vertically integrated cannabis company, called the Secret Garden. There, a local Anchorage workforce of 40-plus grows and harvests plants, manufactures products like edibles and oil-filled cartridges, and staffs a busy retail store open seven days a week.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Riza Brown, assistant professor in UAA’s Culinary Arts Program
  • Joan Wilson, director, Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office
  • James Thornton, team leader and owner of the Secret Garden cannabis company


  • Culinary Arts Program, University of Alaska Anchorage website
  • Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO), State of Alaska website
  • Secret Garden, vertically integrated cannabis company in Anchorage, website


  • Today’s podcast was pre-recorded so we won’t be taking calls during the program.
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the broadcast.
  • Post your comment or question below.
  • FIRST AIR: Monday, August 29, 2022 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday, August 29, 2022 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.

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