The Latest: Marijuana Law Attorney Supports Regulatory Board

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Latest on marijuana in Alaska (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

An attorney who specializes in cannabis law says it is important to save the board tasked with regulating Alaska’s legal marijuana industry.

Jana Weltzin addressed the Marijuana Control Board during a general public comment session on Wednesday.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is expected to propose the repeal of the board as part of a streamlining effort that would transfer the board’s responsibilities to the commerce commissioner. Further details are expected when the repeal legislation is introduced.

Weltzin said she is concerned that public input on matters affecting the industry could be diminished under the proposal.

The board itself did not delve into the discussion.

Meanwhile, Dunleavy’s public safety appointee to the board, Christopher Jaime (HI-mee), was out-of-state and unable to attend what would have been his first board meeting.


11:40 a.m.

A spokesman for Gov. Mike Dunleavy says Dunleavy recognizes that broad use of marijuana is legal in Alaska and has no intention of changing that.

Matt Shuckerow also says Dunleavy has no desire to push the industry in one direction or the other.

Some in the industry have said they are uncertain about Dunleavy’s intentions. Dunleavy recently appointed to the board tasked with regulating cannabis a marijuana critic and also is expected to propose that the board be repealed.

Shuckerow says repealing the board would require legislative approval and it’s important to have a functioning board as that process plays out.

Other states handle cannabis regulation at the agency level. Further details on what Dunleavy is planning are expected when he introduces the repeal legislation.


11 a.m.

Recent actions taken by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy have some in the legal cannabis industry confused about his intentions.

Dunleavy made new appointments to the board tasked with regulating the industry even as he has eyed repealing the board. His appointment of Vivian Stiver, a marijuana critic, has riled industry members who have cast her as a prohibitionist. The board begins a three-day meeting Wednesday in Juneau.

Industry leaders say language in one of Dunleavy’s crime bills would make it a felony to possess 25 or more cannabis plants, which they say could affect legal growers.

However, a Department of Law spokeswoman says the provision is not directed at legal growers and the administration is open to clarifying that.

Marijuana advocate Lacy Wilcox says Dunleavy should meet with the industry.

The Associated Press