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Marijuana commercialization bill introduced in Alaska Legislature

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published February 25, 2015

A bill to regulate commercial marijuana, including proposed business license types, was introduced in the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 62 was forwarded to the State Affairs committee after being introduced on the Senate floor.

Alaska's law legalizing recreational marijuana use went into effect Tuesday. While the law outlines conduct surrounding personal use, what commercialization will look like is left up to the state to figure out. The state has nine months to craft regulations for businesses.

Some details proposed in the measure:

• Businesses would need to be at least 200 feet from a church, school grounds or correctional facility.

• Retailers could sell only up to 1 ounce of pot to a single person in one day.

• Retailers would have to be closed between midnight and 8 a.m.

• Advertising couldn't be "in a manner enticing to minors."

• Packaging would be childproof.

• An individual dose of THC in edibles would be 10 milligrams or less.

• Integrated licenses, allowing one person to be a grower, processor and retailer at once, are proposed.

The bill proposes six license types. That's more than exist in Colorado or Washington, which have three and four types of commercial licenses, respectively.

In Alaska, the proposed licenses would be:

• Marijuana producers: Grow pot and sell it to a processor or retailer.

• Processors: "Refine, process, cook, manufacture, develop, label and package marijuana and marijuana products," according to the bill.

• Retailers: Buy from producers and processors, and sell to the public.

• Testing facilities: Test, analyze and certify marijuana

• Boutique producers: A producer licensed to grow up to 50 marijuana plants and sell it to a broker.

• Home growers: Those who sell any amount of marijuana from their plants to a broker.

• Brokers: Buy from producers, boutique producers and home growers. They would sell to retailers and processors.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska wrote Wednesday it was supportive of incorporating the various types of licenses. In a memo to Sen. Lesil McGuire, the campaign outlined several concerns, including the language surrounding advertising to minors.

"We enthusiastically support reasonable restrictions on advertising and efforts to prevent advertising from targeting minors, but we are concerned this may be vague and overbroad."

The campaign also expressed concern regarding an increase in application fees beyond a $5,000 cap, as outlined in the initiative, and the circumstances surrounding when the board would revoke or suspend registration, among other concerns.

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