House passes 24 PLANT LIMIT!


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Home > Two marijuana bills heard in final days of Alaska legislative session
Laurel Andrews [1]
April 17, 2015
Two pieces of marijuana legislation -- one that would create a Marijuana Control Board and a second that would clarify municipal marijuana regulations -- were heard in the Alaska Legislature on Friday afternoon in the final days of the regular session.

The Marijuana Control Board bill, House Bill 123 [2], was moved out of the Senate Finance Committee on Friday afternoon after public testimony.

The bill includes a fiscal note for $1.57 million that would allow for expansion of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board’s staff and resources. The Marijuana Control Board would share the ABC Board’s staff and director.

When Alaska’s marijuana initiative went into effect Feb. 24, it gave the Legislature power to create a Marijuana Control Board. If no board is created, it’s up to the ABC Board to create the regulations.

ABC Board director Cynthia Franklin has said [3] that if the board receives no additional funding for the voter mandate, it amounts to a “de facto repeal” of the initiative that would likely be the subject of litigation.

Chris Hladick, commissioner designee for the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, testified Friday that “we very much need to get this board in place and work on this initiative.”

The bill next will need to pass a Senate floor vote.

In the Senate Judiciary Committee, a bill clarifying municipalities’ role in marijuana regulation was heard but not passed.

House Bill 75 [4] clarifies municipal processes for registering marijuana businesses, gives municipalities power to establish civil and criminal penalties for businesses and establishes a 24-plant limit per household, among other rules.

The bill was crafted with the help of 23 municipal attorneys, sponsor Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, told legislators on Friday.

Several municipal attorneys, including Dennis Wheeler of Anchorage, spoke in support of the bill.

Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, introduced an amendment that would remove the term “marijuana clubs” from the description of "marijuana establishments." Coghill cited concerns that allowing clubs would be premature, given many unknowns in the nine-month regulatory process to come.

Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, asked for clarification and Tilton’s chief of staff, Heath Hilyard, clarified that removing “marijuana clubs” would not explicitly prohibit them.

Rather, “we’re sending a message that we think we need more time to study it,” McGuire said.

McGuire told listeners that the committee would reconvene Saturday, vote on the amendment and move the bill out of committee.

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[2] 123#tab6_4


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Home > Alaska needs an able marijuana regulatory board; lawmakers must act
Dr. Tim Hinterberger,Bruce Schulte
April 17, 2015

OPINION: It's up to the Senate to abide by the will of the people and pass legislation to ensure that Alaska's marijuana law works.
Last November, voters decided it was time for Alaska to take a more sensible, reality-based approach to marijuana. They replaced the failed policy of prohibition with a mandate that the state regulate and tax marijuana similarly to how it treats alcohol. Yet, with only days left in the legislative session, the Legislature has yet to provide the resources needed to establish a regulatory framework.

As public proponents of Ballot Measure 2, we call on the state Senate to create and fund a dedicated Marijuana Control Board that can focus on sensible, comprehensive guidelines for a regulated marijuana industry. A taxed and regulated marijuana industry will more than pay for the cost of its administration. Taxing the legal sales of marijuana will generate an estimated $7 million in 2016, a total of $72 million by 2020, and more than $23 million each year thereafter according to a report by the Marijuana Policy Group, an independent research organization.

Marijuana business licensing and application fees can and should be sufficient to cover all of the costs of regulating this developing industry, allowing marijuana tax revenue to be used for education, public health, and other programs. However, the regulatory agency will not receive a penny until it accepts the first application in 2016.

The 9-month regulatory process spelled out in the ballot measure began on Feb. 24, yet no real work can be done on the regulations until the state decides who will be responsible for developing those rules and provides funding for the effort.

The House has overwhelmingly approved House Bill 123 to do just that. This bill would create and fund a Marijuana Control Board, which would be staffed with specialists who have the information and resources needed to develop guidelines specific for this industry. If this bill fails, the regulatory burden will fall to the Alcohol Control Board, with only its existing resources and staff. The ABC Board is not currently staffed or funded to grapple with issues that are unique to a marijuana industry, and we believe that voter initiative demands the best, honest effort to allow it to succeed.

The voters have spoken, and adults will soon be able to purchase marijuana from registered businesses instead of the underground market. The only question is whether the regulations will be thoughtfully and carefully crafted to ensure that all legal marijuana products are quality controlled, dosage-tested, and safely packaged, or whether regulations will be incomplete and hastily assembled by an overworked board lacking appropriate expertise.

The voters deserve that best effort and we urge our elected officials to seize this opportunity.

Throughout this legislative session, our senators have made a good faith effort to implement Ballot Measure 2, and we are optimistic they will see it through to the end. Please enact HB 123, as passed by the House, without delay and let Alaska serve as a model for the effective regulation of marijuana.

Dr. Tim Hinterberger and Bruce Schulte were prime sponsors of the successful marijuana ballot measure, and since have been steady advocates for a board to make the rules for public and consumer safety, taxation, sales and transportation.

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)alaskadi[2] [2]

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Lil late for me, I'm stay at home dad of two kids under 10 right now and that's right in the middle of bath time ... I'll double check with the wife and see if she can take the kiddos by then.
I'm with you on kids coming first, so all good man we can do it another time- maybe tomorrow morning, 11 0r 12 at a park somewhere? Any of your fam's invited, I'll bring the dog and this grrl...

WEB-JTR Clone w- Roots.jpg

Look forward to hearing your funny story :bigjoint::bigjoint:


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Published on Alaska Dispatch News (

What to watch for as Alaska's marijuana laws take shape
Laurel Andrews [1]
April 25, 2015

On the last day of Alaska’s regular legislative session, the state Senate voted on a bill that would clarify municipal regulation of marijuana.

“This is our last marijuana bill,” Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, said before the vote. “I think members are relieved by that fact.”

The bill wasn’t controversial, she said. It had come about at the request of city governments looking for guidance.

The bill went to a vote. It failed [2], 10-10.

The next day, the bill was sent back to the Senate Rules Committee, where it will remain until legislators gavel in next year, Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, confirmed Wednesday.

That signaled the end of the Legislature’s efforts this year surrounding marijuana.

Lawmakers spent many hours discussing cannabis this session.

“Marijuana just demanded time,” Coghill said, and the issues were so broad that they were difficult to come to consensus on.

Gov. Bill Walker has also signaled that he will not introduce any more pot-related bills as the Legislature limps along past its regular session. He “would like to see (the) regulation process through before making a decision about additional legislation,” spokeswoman Grace Jang wrote.

So, now that it appears the Legislature has wrapped up its efforts this session, what passed, what didn’t and what’s next for Alaska’s legalization landscape?

What passed?
Of the five pot bills introduced, legislators passed only one, on the last day of the regular legislative session -- a bill that creates a Marijuana Control Board.

The option of creating a Marijuana Control Board was written into Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2. A bill establishing the board was requested by Gov. Bill Walker, and the day after the bill passed, he said that he supported the final version.

Once signed into law, the bill will create a five-member volunteer board. The board has seven months left to craft marijuana regulations. It will address a wide array of issues, from the amount of THC allowed per edible product to business license types to security and safety requirements.

The board will share the staff, resources and director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Most of the $1.57 million in funding included in the capital budget will go toward the expansion of the ABC Board, which has already hired several new employees.

The bill also gives explicit enforcement authority to the ABC Board -- meaning that it may use peace officer powers to shut down businesses acting illegally, as it does with alcohol businesses acting out of compliance.

ABC Board director Cynthia Franklin has reiterated many times the importance of having enforcement power, as businesses have already begun operating without licenses.

Once the bill is signed into law, “we’re ready to rock and roll” and crack down on those businesses, Franklin said.

What stalled?
Four bills were introduced that didn’t pass.

The most closely watched was Senate Bill 30, which attempted to modify Alaska’s criminal statutes.

The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux said Friday that it would not be addressed this session.

So what does it mean that no criminal bill was passed? In a nutshell: All criminal statutes that are not explicitly changed by the initiative are left in place.

The initiative carves out legal activity around marijuana -- all else remains the same. That means, for instance, that it’s still a felony to have 25 cannabis plants or more in one’s home.

Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew put it this way: “If we have criminal statutes that are still on the books and they have not been rendered moot … then they’re still available to be used, and we probably will be put in the position of using them from time to time.”

Franklin, Coghill and Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation spokesman Bruce Schulte all said they wished a criminal statute bill had passed.

“Bringing those criminal statutes in line with the initiative is huge,” Schulte said.

The Legislature “made a good stab at it,” Schulte said, but “there wasn’t enough time to wade through the issues.”

Another bill that stalled in the Legislature was House Bill 75, which would clarify municipality processes for marijuana.

House Bill 75 made it through the House and to a vote on the Senate floor in the last day of the regular legislative session only to get kicked back to the drawing board.

The deal breakers? First, a 24-plant limit that some in the Senate thought was too high, Coghill said.

The second was whether communities in the “unorganized borough” -- a huge swath of land not in any borough that includes much of Southwest Alaska -- should have to opt in or out of allowing marijuana businesses.

These questions had “a little more complexity than many of us wanted to deal with when we thought we were going to be leaving Sunday,” Coghill said, referring to April 19, 90 days after the Legislature went into session.

Coghill said that bill would be one of the first the Legislature tackles next session.

Two other bills stalled out as well. A bill that would make marijuana concentrates illegal in the first year of the regulatory process stopped in the House Judiciary Committee. A bill that would set up business license types -- including home grower and boutique licenses -- was introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee and then didn’t budge for the entirety of the session.

What’s next?
Expect to see draft regulations within a week. The ABC Board meets April 29 and 30 and draft regulations will be introduced then. If approved, those drafts would be opened to public comment.

Franklin said the initial regulations will focus on testing facilities and local option laws.

The governor will appoint the members of the volunteer board -- “we are hoping very soon,” Franklin said -- who will use the remaining seven months to figure out all the details.

Here’s the board’s timeline:

By Nov. 24, marijuana regulations must be adopted by the board.

By Feb. 24, marijuana business applications will be accepted.

March 2016: Regulations expected to go into effect.

May 24, 2016: First marijuana business licenses expected to be awarded.

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Alaska: HB 123 passed! Governor expected to sign bill into law

(From an email from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol_)

Dear Supporter:

The Alaska Legislature gave final — and overwhelming — approval to HB 123, which would establish a Marijuana Control Board. It now advances to Gov. Bill Walker’s desk, who originally requested that the bill be introduced. This bill ensures the marijuana industry is overseen by its own board rather than having regulation fall to the Alcohol Control Board, which may not have the time, expertise, or interest in regulating cannabis.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to their legislators in support of this important bill!

Board members for the Marijuana Control Board would include representatives from areas including public health and safety, industry, and rural Alaska. If you are interested in participating on the board or know someone who is, resumes can be submitted to the Alaska Office of Boards and Commissions at[email protected].

Other bills that could affect the emerging program did not advance this year but may move forward when the legislature reconvenes in 2016. HB 75 would have made modifications to the provisions for local government control, but it contained some troubling provisions. Likewise, SB 30 also did not advance. The judiciary committees’ versions of the bill would have removed marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. However, the version approved by the full Senate had troubling provisions — including prohibiting marijuana businesses in unincorporated boroughs.

Thank you so much for all you did to defend Measure 2 during the legislative session!Please pass this message along to friends, family, and supporters to help spread the word.


Tim Hinterberger
Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol


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Is anyone else a little annoyed that weed was legalized in Alaska, or is it just me? I mean, I'm glad they ALLOW us to grow 24 plants, but...the state of Alaska is as corrupt as they come...we're taking a knee jerk reaction to this news, in all honesty.
It's been on the log books for awhile now that you could have 24 plants in your residence...what exactly has changed?

Legal in AK

Active Member
@Legal in AK How do you see the entries?

I'm wondering if Alaskans just don't own scissors.

Is anyone else a little annoyed that weed was legalized in Alaska, or is it just me? I mean, I'm glad they ALLOW us to grow 24 plants, but...the state of Alaska is as corrupt as they come...we're taking a knee jerk reaction to this news, in all honesty.
It's been on the log books for awhile now that you could have 24 plants in your residence...what exactly has changed?
I left the state because the new rules made it impossible for me to drive without risking an OUI. The politicians would rather write laws about their feelings rather than ones based on actual scientific fact.