Potential MJ Businesses Hope to Influence Alaska Regs

A group of entrepreneurs looking to start cannabis companies in Alaska want to help the state shape business-friendly recreational marijuana regulations.

The goal is to provide guidance so laws don’t stifle marijuana businesses, according to the group, called the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation.

“The best thing is to keep the rules as broad as possible and let the market decide who makes it or who fails,” Bruce Schulte, a marijuana advocate and public relations chairman of the organization, told Alaska Dispatch News.

The coalition, which contributed $4,200 to the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Alaska, has members based in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Ballot Measure 2, which legalizes adult use, requires a framework for selling and taxing recreational cannabis.

The law goes into effect in February, but lawmakers will have nine months to draft rules on the industry. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board or a new marijuana agency, if created, will be in charge of crafting regulations, according to the Dispatch News. The governing board isn’t expected to start taking applications for cannabis business licenses until February 2016.

Frank Berardi, chairman of the coalition, told the newspaper that rules will likely be based on the successes and failures of marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado, with a “uniquely Alaskan twist.”