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Alaska’s Marijuana Rules Continue to Make Forward Progress

Alaska Marijuana Law

Alaska’s marijuana rules are kept in a 127-page document outlining everything from grower operation regulations to processing marijuana requirements. The state government met recently nearly passing every regulation proposed.

The two rules that were not approved were regarding criminal background checks and excluding growers from required testing in rural areas. The Marijuana Control Board in Alaska made some last minute adjustments to the rules in early December.

In regards to criminal background checks, the Department of Law rejected the requirement for national criminal history record checks. Steven Weaver, Senior Assistant Attorney General, says that this type of authority has to come from state statutes, not board regulations.

In Alaska, all marijuana has to be tested for potency and microbial inclusions. Given that the testing equipment is pricey and rural growers may not have access to testing facilities, another look at their requirements is in order, reports ADN. Marijuana Control Board chair Bruce Schulte says, “This is a problem because intra-state transportation by air remains problematic.”

According to Schulte, he understands that rural communities in Alaska have a real challenge given the state’s limited road system. The board is attempting to devise an alternative means of testing for these rural area growers to satisfy legislation.

Over time, Schulte believes that all parties involved will see regulations in Alaska refined. He says, “It’s my hope that in the meantime folks that are in rural communities…will come forward with some suggested changes to the rules.”

On February 24, 2016, license applications will be accepted with the first approvals expected to be issued in June. The current, approved regulations go into effect on February 21, 2016.