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Alaska permits the sale of CBD to individuals 21 and over as long as the products conform to Federal and state requirements. However, while Alaskan authorities are friendly to the CBD industry, there has been a crackdown on enforcing statewide CBD laws. In 2020, David Schade, the director of the Alaska Division of Agriculture, announced there would be stricter enforcement targeting businesses selling CBD products without the correct registration.Alaska’s News Source. “Stricter enforcement on registering stores that sell CBD oil products to begin in January“. Accessed on November 22, 2023. It’s critical to ensure your CBD business is following the correct rules to avoid significant financial penalties.
This guide explores how to start a CBD business in Alaska, how to get a CBD license in Alaska, laws and regulations for selling CBD in Alaska, and other related topics. Read ahead if you want to tap into Alaska’s growing CBD market!
How to Start a CBD Business in Alaska
Before you begin selling CBD products to consumers in Alaska, you need a business. Starting a CBD business follows a similar path to starting other traditional retail companies. Begin by choosing a business structure and registering it with state authorities. While various business structures are available to CBD retailers, many choose to register as limited liability companies (LLCs). LLCs provide some liability protection for business owners, which can help shield them from financial losses.
To form an LLC, you must file Articles of Organization with the State of Alaska. You can find information on the Alaskan Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website. The filing fee is $250. Once you file the appropriate forms, you can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and a state tax ID. An EIN will also enable your business to apply for business bank accounts and financing, making it easier to access funding, build a business credit score, and more.
Lastly, it’s time to buy a business license from the Alaskan Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. You can purchase or renew licenses on its website—licenses cost $50 per year. Now that you have all the core business elements in place, it’s time to consider the CBD-specific steps you must take to begin selling products to consumers in Alaska. Let’s explore below!
How to Get a CBD License in Alaska
While there isn’t a “CBD license” in Alaska, your business must register with the Alaska Division of Agriculture to be approved to sell CBD products in a retail setting. Previously, this registration rule went unenforced, but starting on January 1st, 2021, authorities began stricter enforcement action. Failing to register can result in fines of up to $500 daily.
To register, head to the Industrial Hemp Program page on the Alaska Division of Agriculture website. Under the Forms and Resources section, you can find the registration application under “Application or Renewal for Retailer or Distributor.” Registration requires a $100 application fee, as well as a $300 annual fee, so the total cost for the first year is $400.The Alaska Division of Agriculture. “Alaska Division of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Program Fees: 2020 Fee Schedule“. Accessed on November 22, 2023. The Alaska Division of Agriculture requests 5-10 days to process applications, so make sure to apply well in advance of the opening date for your CBD business.
CBD License Application Requirements in Alaska
Preparing the correct information before submitting a CBD registration application with the Alaska Division of Agriculture will help speed up the approval process. Below, let’s explore the information the application requires:
- Name of retail store or chain
- Physical address of the store where CBD products are sold
- Web address of where CBD products are sold
- GPS coordinates of any physical stores where CBD products are sold
- Phone number of the CBD business
- Mailing address of the CBD business
- Legal name of the owner
- Email address of the owner
- Telephone number of the owner
- The legal owner’s home address
- Type of store — permanent building, online, kiosk, or mobilized unit
- The opening hours of the CBD store
- Name of the responsible applicant
- A list of hemp products sold, including product type, the full name of the product, and brand name
Laws & Regulations for Selling CBD in Alaska
CBD products in Alaska must contain 0.3% THC concentration or less, and businesses cannot sell CBD products to anyone under 21. Additionally, selling CBD products without registering with the Alaska Division of Agriculture may incur fines of up to $500 daily.
How to Renew Your CBD License in Alaska
Businesses must renew their retail CBD registration with the Alaska Division of Agriculture annually. To renew the license, fill out the same application form provided to new applicants. Tick the box at the top of the form next to “RENEWAL” and fill in your current registration number in the field provided. Unfortunately, you must fill out the entire application form again. The Alaska Division of Agriculture wants to ensure it has up-to-date information on your CBD business. Your business must also pay a $50 renewal fee and the $300 annual registration fee.
Start Selling CBD in Alaska
If your business wants to begin selling CBD products in Alaska, taking the steps outlined in this guide as soon as possible is critical. Start by registering a business, obtaining an EIN, opening a business bank account, and registering your business with the Alaska Division of Agriculture. This will provide the framework for your business so you can start retailing CBD products to Alaska’s more than 550,000 adult consumers.The United States Census Bureau. “Quickfacts Alaska“. Accessed on November 22, 2023.
Next, determine how you plan to source and sell your CBD products. Your business must source from CBD suppliers with correctly tested products. Likewise, it’s critical to decide if your business wants to use a brick-and-mortar retail location or an online store (or you can choose to do both!). Fortunately, building an online store without any technical experience has never been easier. eCommerce web builders, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, simplify setting up an online store, integrating with a payment gateway, and selling products.
Lastly, with the vast majority of American consumers preferring credit card payments to other payment methods, it’s critical to have a payment processing partner when you begin selling CBD products. However, many CBD businesses in Alaska struggle to access payment processing due to the high-risk nature of the CBD industry. CBD is regulated differently depending on which state your business sells products in, so many financial institutions avoid providing merchant accounts to CBD-related companies. However, CBD businesses can accept credit card payments from customers by applying for a CBD merchant account. CBD merchant accounts offer industry-specific tools, higher chargeback thresholds, and access to dedicated account managers. It’s the perfect payment resource for expanding your CBD business in Alaska!
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Alaska CBD License: FAQs
Is CBD legal in Alaska?
Yes. CBD products are legal in Alaska if they have 0.3% THC concentration or less. Likewise, CBD retailers must register with the Alaska Division of Agriculture before selling CBD products. Lastly, only consumers 21 or older can purchase CBD products—CBD retailers must enforce this.
How much does a CBD license cost in Alaska?
To register with the Alaska Division of Agriculture to sell retail CBD products, you must pay a $100 application fee and a $300 annual fee, making the first year cost $400 in total. Likewise, when you renew the registration, you must pay a $50 renewal fee each year. Therefore, for subsequent years, the total cost of renewal and registration is $350.
Can you sell CBD without a license in Alaska?
Alaska does not require a “license” to sell CBD products in the state. However, businesses must register with the Alaska Division of Agriculture. In effect, this means Alaska residents must apply for a permit to sell products to consumers. Complete the application and pay for the registration costs before you begin selling CBD products. Not doing so can result in fines of up to $500 daily.
How long is a CBD license valid in Alaska?
Retail CBD registration requires annual renewal. Businesses must pay a $50 annual renewal fee to maintain their license (in addition to the $300 annual fee).
- Alaska’s News Source. “Stricter enforcement on registering stores that sell CBD oil products to begin in January“. Accessed on November 22, 2023.
- The Alaska Division of Agriculture. “Alaska Division of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Program Fees: 2020 Fee Schedule“. Accessed on November 22, 2023.
- The United States Census Bureau. “Quickfacts Alaska“. Accessed on November 22, 2023.