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Alaska Marijuana Control Board Delays On-Site Consumption Decision

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Time ran out during a special meeting held by the Marijuana Control Board to make a decision regarding onsite consumption. The meeting lasted two days, but no decision was made. The board is delaying its decision until April.

This also left some applications for marijuana businesses in limbo as there was not enough time, Alaska Journal reports. Another special meeting session is scheduled for November 28 and 29 to go through the remaining 28 applications. If the second meeting wasn’t scheduled, those applications would have waited until January 21 for consideration.

The onsite consumption vote has now been put off three times. One of the issues is a concern of board member Loren Jones that wishes to see a subcommittee appointed to propose regulations for how onsite consumption locations would operate.

Jones said, “I don’t want to do this on the fly. We received 550 pates of public comment that I haven’t even been able to read yet. There are fiscal implications with enforcement staff.”

Board member Mark Springer agrees with Jones.

He said, “This is the most consequential issue we’ve taken up. This is pretty big stuff. We just saw what people think about a cultivation operation in a residential neighborhood. Imagine what we’ll start hearing when we start taking testimony on onsite consumption.”

Brandon Emmett introduced the proposal to allow onsite consumption. He is upset about it taking a year to make a decision and that three attempts have been made in that year. He also says that the public has provided their comments regarding the issue.

“We’ve debated this for a couple of years. It’s been out for public comment, and motions have been approved. We should no longer waste public resources on this issue. If this is something that’s not in the public interest, then let’s vote on it. If the board’s not interested in approving it, then we need to vote it down. We need to settle it.”

Anchorage marijuana industry rep. Nick Miller said, “I’m not sure what new information we will gather by putting it out there for more comments. If you want more information, let’s gather it before January. We need to move on as an industry, correct the issues raised in the director’s report, not take in new information.”

It isn’t clear whether the board will take up the onsite consumption issue before the self-imposed extension giving them until April to decide.