Marijuana Control Board defers on-site consumption decision
Once again, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board has delayed a decision on regulations that would allow on-site consumption in the state. Members have been debating the issue for more than a year now.
The Board spent most its two-day meeting this week, reviewing license applications. Even so, It wasn't enough time to get through all 75 items on the agenda.
"This industry is still building, there's a lot of applications, there's over 300 licenses that have been initiated besides all the ones that are operating," said Peter Mlynarik, chair of the Board. "It takes a lot of time, so we need to get through these. Sometimes regulations, unless they're crucial to safety or something, just kind of take the back seat."
Through the last public comment period, Mlynarik says the Board has received more than 500 pages of comments -- both in favor and against the so-called smoking lounges. Another layer of the debate is what to do in municipalities that have banned smoking the workplace. In the meantime, tourists in the state may not have a legal place to consume.
If the board moves to allow on-site consumption, Alaska would become the first state to do so. Besides the Netherlands, there isn't another place to use as a model for the new regulations.
The Board's next meeting is slated for January, in Juneau. On Wednesday, it tasked two members with creating draft regulations for on-site consumption to be submitted to the Board by April.
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