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Marijuana Control Board votes against onsite consumption – again

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Jared Mazurek - 7:09 PM March 7, 2017
ANCHORAGE –

Clearing up confusion was a top priority for the Alaska Marijuana Control Board (MCB) during its March meeting on Tuesday. 

Last month, the board rejected a proposal allowing onsite consumption at some retail pot stores, but in the days that followed, it became very clear the issue wasn’t dead. The board had already approved licenses for five shops that had onsite consumption as part of their business plan. 

Onsite consumption would eventually allow customers to buy pot products and then use them in a store, similar to Starbucks, but for cannabis. 

As a result of the MCB’s February decision, the question came up: would those pre-approved retail stores be allowed to move forward with their plans for onsite consumption?

The answer was no with a four-to-one vote Tuesday by board members. Only industry representative Brandon Emmett voted in opposition. 

He then made a motion that will continue the conversation and once again open it up to public comment. 

While onsite consumption won’t be allowed for now, the board isn’t ready to pull it off the table all together. MCB Chairman Peter Mlynarik says Tuesday’s vote was all about making sure everyone is on the same page. 

“Even though those licenses were approved, it was with the exception that that consumption area was not going to be operating because there are no regulations yet for the consumption area,” Mlynarik explained. 

On Tuesday, the MCB also decided that it will continue to allow retail stores to sell pre-rolled joints as long as they are packaged in line with state regulation.

KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter

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