ALASKA: The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has been busy since Alaskans voted to legalize marijuana in November. Members have been inundated with questions, moving swiftly to provide information to the public and working to inform themselves in order to begin crafting marijuana rules when the ballot initiative goes into effect in February.
But what kind of work they’ll actually have to do remains unclear if a bill pending from Sen. Lesil McGuire goes through.
McGuire said Thursday she intends to introduce legislation that would create a marijuana control board charged with crafting and implementing marijuana rules. McGuire, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants to make it clear that the Legislature will be addressing marijuana legalization. With that, she feels the first step is creating a separate board to regulate the substance.
The authority to do that is one of the few clear requests Ballot Measure 2 specifically makes of the Legislature. However, it only indicates that it “may create” the board — not that it must. Per the initiative, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is in charge of marijuana unless a new organization is formed. With the board moving swiftly, some involved in marijuana legalization find themselves mulling whether a separate board should exist.