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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Testing alternative for marijuana businesses

By Kenneth Reese


February 07, 2016
Sunday AM

In recent news it was announced that Lt. Governor Byron Mallott has filed the State Marijuana Regulations. In a separate move the Alaska Department of Law tossed out an attempt by the Marijuana Board to provide a testing alternative for marijuana businesses, off the Alaska road system. With the Lt. Governor's signature regulations take effect in 30 days. The Marijuana Board will meet February 11th in Juneau to finalize regulations for Marijuana Cafes and the forms that licensees will use to apply starting February 24th.

What does this all mean? It is my understanding after talking with our State Rep. Dan Ortiz, the main problem is there are no State Reps or State Senators backing the current legislation. The State of Alaska Medical Marijuana Advisory Board is trying to push through the legislature at this present time.

The main reason the Alternative Transportation Amendment was shot down is because it was introduced by the State Marijuana Advisory Board. Therefore when they proposed the Amendment, the Alaska Department of Law, rejected it. What does this mean? The "STATE" Marijuana Board was rejected by The "STATE" Department of Law. If this amendment was introduced by a State Representative, such as State Rep. Dan Ortiz, all it would need is a second motion. The Alaska Department of Law will not be able to reject this Amendment once it receives a Second it will then be on the Legislature's Agenda for this 2016 Legislative session.
The latest a State Rep. can introduce an Amendment is February 22nd.

One of the reasons the Transportation Amendment was rejected is because Sitka resident Aaron Bean did not go through his state representative who is
Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.

During my conversing with our Rep. Dan Ortiz, it is my understanding that he is willing to propose this legislation, if that is what the voters from his district would like to see happen.

I will be traveling to Juneau no later than February 15th to meet with Representative Dan Ortiz. I recently have proposed two Amendments to Bill 123. There are petitions around Ketchikan at this time if any persons are interested in signing petitions I need the voters backing to help influence Representative Dan Ortiz into proposing these Amendments. The more signatures I get before I travel to Juneau will be helpful. I am also collecting signatures statewide. I have made contact with a Marijuana Advocate from Anchorage who is presently collecting signatures from voters in his area. Let's all Alaskan voters come together on this issue.

The main reason the legislation the State is currently trying to pass is modeled after the State of Colorado, I would like to see the State use all States that currently have a legal marijuana industry. Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and Arizona are currently working on legislation for the commercialization of a marijuana market. Alaska would be better suited if they would study all these states' laws before passing legislation of the commercialization of marijuana in the State of Alaska. I believe this would be in the best interest of the State and the voters.

Kenneth G. Reese
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received February 05, 2016 - Published February 07, 2015



Marijuana Establishment Regulations Effective on February 21 (pdf)



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