Alaska Lawmakers Amend Marijuana Crimes Bill

ALASKA:  The Senate Finance Committee on Friday further amended the bill that would update state laws following the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Now, the bill would prohibit the commercial and retail marijuana industry from the parts of the state’s unorganized borough that are not in a municipality. The bill would allow established villages to opt back in to a new marijuana industry. That change was proposed by Bethel Democrat Sen. Lyman Hoffman.

Alaska voters in November approved a ballot issue that legalized recreational marijuana, directed the state to develop regulations for a new commercial industry, and allowed communities to prohibit that industry either by voter initiative or government ordinance.

Alaska Lawmakers Consider New Approach To Marijuana Legalization

ALASKA:  A Senate committee is considering a new approach to decriminalizing marijuana.

The Senate Finance Committee on Monday heard about a new draft of the bill intended to decriminalize possession, growth and transportation of limited amounts of marijuana for adults 21 years and older. The draft would list marijuana as a controlled substance, but include a non-applicability section that essentially would create an exception to controlled substance crimes for acts that are within the bounds of a voter initiative passed in November. That initiative legalized recreational use of pot.

The draft also would still allow a commercial industry, as the initiative intended.

Committee co-chair Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, brought the draft up as a possible substitute to the one currently in committee and had staff present it. But a decision about whether to formally substitute it will be made Tuesday.

Department of Justice Actively Considering How to Allow Bank, Pot Shop Transactions

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The Department of Justice is “actively considering” how to regulate interactions between banks and marijuana shops that operate within state laws and don’t violate other federal law enforcement priorities, Attorney General Eric Holder told the governors of Washington and Colorado in a joint phone call Thursday, according to a DOJ official. [Read more…]

Marijuana Industry Eager to Pay Taxes – and Cash in on Deductions

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: As Congress wrestles with big budget cuts, one budding industry wants to help out the federal government with a novel message: Tax us, please. [Read more…]