Legislative Glitch Delaying License Approvals in Alaska

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A legislative obstacle to the approval of marijuana licenses in Alaska has emerged, threatening to delay the start of the state’s recreational cannabis industry.

The issue? Fingerprints.

Applicants for recreational cannabis business licenses in Alaska need to submit fingerprints to the state for a national criminal background check. The state, however, apparently doesn’t have the authority to conduct the background checks, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.

The legislature must write a provision into the law but hasn’t done so yet.

Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board recently informed an applicant for a retail and cultivation license that it can’t proceed with final approval because of this issue.

There are two bills in the state legislature that would grant the board authority to conduct background checks, but representatives are gridlocked over minor differences between the two.

The chairman of the Marijuana Control Board said he is unsure whether the agency will be able to license businesses until the issue is settled, according to the Dispatch News.