Friday, October 16, 2015
Media Contact: Taylor Bickford
Measure 2 Sponsors Urge Marijuana Control Board to License and Regulate Marijuana Businesses at Which Adults Can Purchase and Consume Marijuana
Rules proposed by the MCB currently would not allow for consumption in any establishments; the initiative approved by voters in 2014 grants businesses the right to permit it and allows the board to license and regulate such businesses<
Initiative sponsor: ‘Our intent was to allow adults to consume socially inside licensed businesses so that they don’t consume publicly outside on the street’
ANCHORAGE – Sponsors of Ballot Measure 2, the initiative that legalized marijuana for adults in Alaska, are urging the state Marijuana Control Board (MCB) to create a licensing process and regulations for marijuana businesses at which adults can purchase and consume marijuana.
“Adults who can legally purchase marijuana should have places where they can congregate with other adults to legally consume it,” said initiative sponsor Dr. Tim Hinterberger, who chaired the campaign that led to its passage. “This is especially the case when it comes to adults visiting Alaska who don’t have other legal options. Our intent was to allow adults to consume socially inside licensed businesses so that they don’t consume publicly outside on the street.”
Rules proposed by the board currently prohibit marijuana retail establishments that allow on-site consumption. The MCB is also still relying on an overly broad definition of what constitutes “public” use, which was established by an emergency ruling by the Alcohol Control Board and never revisited after the creation of the MCB.
In oral testimony provided to the board Thursday and in written testimony submitted Friday, the sponsors of the initiative pointed out that the measure approved by Alaska voters in 2014 specifically grants businesses the right to permit marijuana consumption on their property. It also allows the MCB to create a licensing process and regulations for businesses that sell marijuana to adults and allow consumption on their premises. The initiative sponsors’ written testimony is available at http://regulatemarijuanainalaska.org/testimony-to-mcb-on-proposed-regulations/.
“It is the responsibility of the Marijuana Control Board to regulate both private property owners and provide local option guidelines, pursuant to its authority under the measure,” said Dr. Hinterberger. “Accordingly, the board is well within its scope of authority to not only establish various types of retail establishment licenses, but also allow particular classes of retail establishments that allow patrons to consume on-site. In light of the purpose of the measure in establishing rights for private property owners, such a license is essential to the MCB’s duties.
“The intent of the initiative was to prohibit open and public use on streets, sidewalks, and parks, not inside privately owned marijuana businesses. We specifically drafted the measure in a way that would ensure the MCB has the ability to license and regulate businesses where adults could purchase and consume marijuana. The solution here is for the MCB to amend the emergency definition of ‘public’ use and create a category of retail marijuana business with specific regulations for those that allow patrons to consume on-site.”
The MCB is expected to finalize the rules for licensing and regulating marijuana businesses by November 24.
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The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol sponsored and supported the passage of Ballot Measure 2. The organization is staying active during implementation of the initiative so that the intent of the law is protected during the rulemaking process. Learn more at www.RegulateMarijuanaInAlaska.org.