Marijuana cultivation is legal statewide, but municipalities have the option to more stringently regulate it or outlaw it all together.

In the face of Haines’ first application for a marijuana establishment license, the Haines Borough Planning Commission took no action at its April 13 meeting, leaving the decision to the assembly.

Borough planner Holly Smith recommended the commission take one of three options: do nothing, postpone the discussion for a year to have more time to consider marijuana laws, or talk about regulation.

“We don’t really have anything that addresses this type of crop. Do we need something?” Smith said. “It’s really up to this body what you want to do (as far as zoning).”

Commissioner Rob Miller said he was concerned about the pungent smell the marijuana plants would give off. The permit application, submitted by Carol Waldo early this month, indicated the marijuana cultivation operation would be in two buildings on Helms Loop, a rural residential zone where crop production is allowed.

“Two buildings worth of marijuana in full flower is going to produce a lot of odor…That could be a problem for some people,” Miller said. “If we’re going to let it happen anywhere that has residential as part of the zoning, it’s best to have some provisions on there just to protect the neighbors.”

Smith said to keep in mind this permit application is only for one kind of marijuana facility. There could also be labs, retail and manufacturing facilities.

The only state zoning rule is that marijuana establishments be 500 feet from a school, youth or recreation center, correctional facility or building where religious services are held.

“It’s a legal crop. I don’t feel we should take any action at this time, void of assembly direction,” said commissioner Brenda Josephson.

After a 30-day public comment period which started April 13, the assembly will consider the license for approval.