Alaska board accused of undermining marijuana program

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Members of Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board and some officials in the administration of Gov. Bill Walker are trying to slow the rollout of the state’s new recreational MJ program, an outgoing board member charged.

Bruce Schulte, who was removed from the five-member marijuana board last Friday by Gov. Walker, alleged that obstructionists on the board and in Walker’s administration were establishing unreasonably strict regulations that would hurt new cannabis businesses, according to Anchorage NBC affiliate KTUU.

“There’s an underlying agenda to subvert the process, to delay the implementation of a legalized marijuana industry,” Schulte said. “It doesn’t look like the state of Alaska is really serious about making this happen.”

A spokesman for the governor denied Schulte’s charges, and said Schulte was dismissed because of his job performance.

A replacement has not been announced. Schulte previously served as board chairman, but was removed from that post earlier this year.

The marijuana board issued its first licenses, for testing labs and cultivators, in June. The board is expected to issue its first retail licenses in September.