Alaska Legislator Wants Separate MJ Control Board

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Oversight of Alaska marijuana businesses would fall under a proposed marijuana control agency and not the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) under a proposal by a state lawmaker.

Sen. Lesil McGuire plans to introduce a bill that would form a board to govern the state cannabis industry when a ballot initiative that passed last month goes into effect in February, according to the Alaska Daily News. McGuire said she worries that the ABC doesn’t have the know-how to draft rules on marijuana despite its expertise in regulating alcohol.

The state Legislature has the option of creating a separate board to set rules and regulations for the marijuana industry under Ballot Measure 2, but isn’t required to do so. If one isn’t formed, the ABC would be tasked with crafting the rules.

Cannabis business owners will likely have to wait until 2016 to open their doors as regulators mull legislation and create laws surrounding the industry.

Bruce Schulte, the chief executive of the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation, a group that offers insights into the rulemaking process, said he wants to be sure a board, if formed, includes people supportive of the marijuana industry, according to the Alaska Daily News.

“We just want to see a board that is neutral with regards to marijuana, that is interested in having it succeed and composed of people of the appropriate background to make that happen,” Schulte told the newspaper.