Gov. Bill Walker introduced a bill Monday that would create a Marijuana Control Board in charge of regulating the industry in the state and giving the board the power to enforce its laws.
Senate Bill 60 would create a new board housed under the state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
The director and staff of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would also serve the 5-member Marijuana Control Board so that the new board could "benefit from the considerable experience and expertise" of the ABC Board, Walker said in his transmittal letters to the Legislature.
"Importantly, the bill would give the Marijuana Control Board the power to enforce its regulations, including the ability to use peace officer powers to enforce the criminally punishable laws and regulations relating to marijuana," Walker said.
ABC Board Director Cynthia Franklin said the bill would give the board "some role in shutting down the black market."
Franklin said that the bill, in combination with Senate Bill 30, which would remove marijuana as a controlled substance under Alaska statutes, "makes it clear that … marijuana is a regulated substance."
A five-member volunteer board would be comprised of one member from the public safety sector; one from the public health sector; one from a rural area; one or two from the marijuana industry; and one or two from the general public.
The board members would be appointed by the governor and serve staggered three-year terms.
The option of creating a Marijuana Control Board was included in Ballot Measure 2, the initiative legalizing marijuana that voters passed Nov. 4.
Walker's bill was forwarded to the House Labor and Commerce Committee on Monday.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing