What Alaska Marijuana Dispensaries Can Learn From Colorado, Washington

PHOTO: Peter Lomonaco, co-founder of the Alaska Cannabis Club, and CEO Charlo GreenePlayMark Thiessen/AP Photo
WATCH Marijuana Now Legal in Alaska

Starting today it's legal to have recreational marijuana in the state of Alaska behind closed doors.

And while Alaska legislators figure out who will be allowed to sell marijuana legally -- if ever, pot-growing hobbyists in "The Last Frontier" can learn a thing or two from Yelp reviews in the other two states that have legalized pot.

Some marijuana connoisseurs who've taken to Yelp in Colorado and Washington could give Alaska entrepreneurs some tips for successful business:

1. Prices: You Can't Compete With the Street

For one Colorado dispensary, a Yelp reviewer wrote, "Nice people but waaaay overpriced for recreational. $20 a gram plus tax? Phuleeeze. It was far cheaper off the street in NY."

That business owner replied on Yelp, writing: "Thanks for the review and feedback. That price does include tax. We pride ourselves on selling quality products at a reasonable cost. We hope to see you again!"

2. A Nice Pot Bouncer Is a Good Pot Bouncer

"Security guards are a little aggressive, they will make you take off your hat and glasses (even prescription glasses)," one Yelp reviewer wrote on Monday for a dispensary in Seattle. "If you are in the area might as well just go across the street ... they are much friendlier and cheaper."

3. Be the High-End Purveyor of Weed Stores

One reviewer likened one dispensary in Seattle last month to a high-end department store: "There are waxes, edibles, grass, everything a smoker needs! Price points are high, but legally you are getting the best variety and quality. All the packages have dosage and type labels. Have your ID ready at the front door (21+ only) and look for coupons! There was a 10% off in the Seattle times that my boyfriend used. So glad to live in a place where THIS exists! So forward thinking!"

4. Tourists = Cha-ching

Many reviewers of the top-rated dispensary in Denver, Colorado, with 4.5 stars, explained that they were out-of-towners or first-time buyers looking for a "non-sketchy" experience.

"I'm in Colorado for Family Thanksgiving. I'm so happy there are recreational use laws here -- (family of 16)," one Yelp reviewer wrote. "Staff was fast, efficient, and quite helpful to an obvious newbie who was quite literally a kid in a candy store and distracted by all the choices. Glad to pay the taxes and support your industry as it is a great model for other states to eventually follow. Thanks again!"

PHOTO: The Alaska Cannabis Club in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, pictured Feb. 20, 2015.Mark Thiessen/AP Photo
The Alaska Cannabis Club in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, pictured Feb. 20, 2015.