Alaska Marijuana News

Anchorage land-use specialist tapped to head Alaska's alcohol and marijuana office

Erika McConnell, a longtime employee of the Municipality of Anchorage, will be the next director of the office that oversees regulation of alcohol and marijuana laws in Alaska.

McConnell was named as the new director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office in a release from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Tuesday afternoon.

Her first day on the job will be March 20.

McConnell currently works as a special assistant to the director of Anchorage's Office of Economic and Community Development. She is a former city planner who headed up the city's current planning division, which oversees land use, zoning and subdivision regulations.

McConnell was extensively involved in crafting Anchorage's local marijuana land-use regulations and oversaw special land-use permits for alcohol, the release says.

Former director Cynthia Franklin, who oversaw the creation of the state's new marijuana regulations, resigned in early January. Sara Chambers stepped in as acting director until the position was filled.

The director oversees staff that handles licensing, rule enforcement and administrative duties for both the state Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Marijuana Control boards.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.