Alaska Marijuana Control Board Answers Questions on Proposals


The marijuana regulatory process is often beset by lengthy documents and confusing legal language. Needless to say, the process can often be difficult to understand as a layperson or business owner, which is why many states often go the extra mile to help their citizens better understand the ever-shifting regulatory framework.

In Alaska, for example, the state Marijuana Control Board has released a series of questions and answers on its third set of proposed marijuana regulations, which covered topics such as cultivation facility licensing, edibles concentrations, and marijuana testing.

One concerned citizen raised questions over section 306.420(c)(2).

The current language of the proposed rules requires a marijuana cultivation broker facility license applicant to submit a form of agreement with the cultivation center that the applicant plans on working with before they can actually obtain the license.

This could potentially create a legal quandary where subjects enter into a contract as a licensed entity, without actually having said license. Regardless, the board assures that “[n]one of the regulations are intended to require illegal agreements.”

Another person asked why the control board set a THC cap of 76 percent on marijuana concentrates. According to the board, the 76 percent THC cap was reached as a result existing Alaskan law. Under current state law, alcoholic beverages are limited to 76 percent by volume .

As the intention of Measure 2 was to regulate marijuana like alcohol, the 76 percent cap was a natural choice.

Regarding the issue of public marijuana consumption, one citizen wanted to know where tourists would be able to consume marijuana and whether marijuana clubs would be allowed.

“The proposed regulation in Article 9 prohibits the creation of clubs that would invite the public in to consume marijuana but charge a membership fee, admission fee or cover charge for admission,” replied the board. “AS 17.38 does not provide legal authority for the Marijuana Control Board to create a license type permitting consumption of marijuana in a place which is open to the public.”

One question not answered by the board was the issue of taxation. As the marijuana industry is mostly cut-off from basic banking services, taxes must be paid in cash. However, unlike other states, Alaska does not have the infrastructure in place to accept cash payments.

In an effort to solve this unique conundrum, the Department of Revenue will seek public input by holding three regional workshops on Sept. 29, Oct. 1, and Oct. 7. Those that cannot physically attend can digitally attend via teleconference. For more information, click here.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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