ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Anchorage Assembly is expected to decide whether a retail marijuana store can open despite its location next to a shelter that also serves as a church.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that AlaskaSense LLC plans to open a marijuana store beside the Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center.

Officials say the soup kitchen and women’s shelter leases space to a Texas ministry called Hope Church.

The city’s planning department has classified the entire operation as a religious assembly with special protections.

AlaskaSense’s owner and attorney say the business has spent $400,000 in rent and renovations based on previous assurances from the city that it met zoning regulations.

The shelter previously opposed the shop but recently sent a letter to AlaskaSense explaining its board voted to drop its opposition.

Information from: Anchorage Daily News,

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