Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement last week left the marijuana industry blindsided. Regardless of potential crackdowns, Alaska marijuana business owners plan to keep their doors open. Legislators aren’t sure what might happen, but no plans to change policy are expected.
U.S. Attorney for Alaska, Bryan Schroder, isn’t making any changes to Alaska’s legal marijuana industry, according to Juneau Empire. Chairman of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board, Peter Mlynarik resigned following Sessions’ announcement. Mylarnik is also the police chief of Soldotna. The main reason for his resignation was the rescinding of the Cole Memo and associated protections for legal marijuana markets.
Mylarnik said the Cole Memo’s rescinding “was a crucial element I order for the states to operate without having to look over their shoulders.”
Loren Jones, who is an assemblyman, says it’s too early to know what may happen at the federal level.
Jones said, “I’m guessing that nothing will change in Alaska for a while if it changes at all.”
Cary Carrigan of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Associations (AMIA) said the announcement “is a clear slap in the face to the American voters and the residents of Alaska, who overwhelmingly and resoundingly have supported this industry at the ballot box.”
Rainforest Farms, according to James Barrett, isn’t making any changes to its daily operations.
Lacy Wilcox of AMIA said, “We’re just going to continue to operate as we have been and hope our state officials have our back. We’re going to continue to be awesome.”
Governor Bill Walker has reaffirmed that he remains “committed to upholding the will of Alaskans on this issue, and maintaining our state’s sovereign rights to manage our own affairs while protecting federal interests.”
He will be working with the necessary agencies to ensure that the federal government does not overreach on the subject.
Representative Don Young said, “The Tenth Amendment was created to protect states’ rights and the (Justice) Department is overstepping their boundaries on this front.”
Young wants to see the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment renewed as Congress hasn’t been permitted to vote on the amendment or expand its coverage to recreational marijuana as well.
Young said, “If this stands and Congress allows the Department to crack down on individuals and state governments, it will be one of the biggest derelictions of duty I will have witnessed. As the Dean of the House, I have seen a lot in my time. Congress is the voice of the people and we have a duty to do what is right by the states.”