Alaska Coalition Latest to Form State Industry Group

Marijuana entrepreneurs in Alaska have formed an industry group to support and lobby for cannabis businesses in the state, the latest trade organization to form as medical and recreational MJ programs expand.

The Alaska Marijuana Industry Association said individuals and companies that work within the state’s legal cannabis sector can become members. As the industry grows, the size of the group’s board will increase, and the association plans to hire an executive director and paid lobbyist once licenses are issued, according to the Associated Press.

Illinois MMJ growers and dispensaries earlier this week said they formed a group to support that state’s MMJ industry. The Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, composed of 56 companies awarded licenses from the state, will need to address public education on MMJ as the worryingly low patient count in the state may lead to problems for companies.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker also this week named members to a new Marijuana Control Board to craft regulations governing the state’s MMJ industry. Among those appointees are two founders of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, Brandon Emmett and Bruce Schulte.

The state’s Department of Revenue estimates it will collect from $5 million to $19 million in taxes from rec sales to locals. The wide range is indicative of the uncertainty over the size of Alaska’s new market.