The state legislature returned to session today with marijuana-related bills waiting for lawmakers. This year's session happens at a critical time: The Marijuana Control Board will begin accepting applications for businesses in just over a month, local communities around the state are considering their own regulations, and businesses will begin operations later this year.
Activists, supporters, and prospective businesses should pay close attention as lawmakers and local officials continue to look at ways to regulate the emerging market.
On the legislative front, two bills introduced last year, SB 30 and HB 75, continue to be under consideration. Lawmakers have until February 22 to introduce new bills as well. While it is possible the legislature will hold off considering significant changes until the program is fully up and running, that is not yet clear, and we need to be ready to defend Measure 2.
In local communities, cities are considering their own regulations in the wake of the Marijuana Control Board's adoption of regulations. Some have banned or limited businesses and others may do so. Fairbanks will ask the legislature to prohibit cannabis social clubs rather than implement their own ordinance. Anchorage is considering a ban on cannabis cafés and will seek to place a proposed local tax before voters.
In other words, much is happening that will affect cannabis consumers and those that serve them, so stay tuned!
Please pass this message on to friends, family, and supporters in Alaska.
Source: Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol