SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Governor Walker Appoints Marijuana Control Board Members

July 13, 2015
Monday AM

(SitNews) - Governor Bill Walker (I) announced recently his appointments to the Marijuana Control Board which was created by House Bill 123 sponsored by the Governor. The Alaska State Legislature passed the bill in April. The board is tasked with developing regulations covering aspects of marijuana cultivation, processing and commercial sale. The board will include representatives from the public health and safety sectors, industry, and rural Alaska. According to the transition language in HB123, general public seats will not be appointed until after the first terms of the initial board expire.

“I am pleased to announce these five appointees to the Marijuana Control Board,” Governor Walker said. “They bring with them decades of experience in public health, business development and rural issues. With their different backgrounds and diverse skill sets, they will help shepherd in regulations for this new industry. Furthermore, we will be implementing the new board in an extremely cost-conscious way. We are utilizing existing staff to support the board and will only be hiring a small number of new positions.”

The Alaska Department of Revenue estimates that tax revenues will generate between $5.1 million to $9.2 million in the first year of commercial sales.

Appointed to fill the public safety seat is Peter Mlynarik of Soldotna. Mlynarik has been the Chief of Police in Soldotna since 2012. Prior to joining the City of Soldotna, he spent over 20 years with the Alaska State Troopers. His years in Alaska law enforcement makes him exceptionally qualified to understand the public safety issues associated with this developing industry.

Appointed to the public health seat is Loren Jones of Juneau. Jones is currently a City and Borough of Juneau assembly member, has a long history in the substance abuse and mental health arenas. He has also served as the director of the Alaska Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Mark Springer from Bethel was appointed to the rural seat. Springer has been an Alaska resident since 1976 and is recognized for his local government work in several rural Alaskan communities. He is a current member of the Bethel City Council and is active with the Alaska Municipal League.

Appointed to the two industry seats are Bruce Schulte from Anchorage and Brandon Emmett from Fairbanks. Per HB 123, the Governor needs to select two people for the initial appointments to the Marijuana Control Board with experience in the marijuana industry. This experience can be obtained through lawful participation in the marijuana industry or participation in an academic or advocacy role relating to the marijuana industry.

Schulte has been a spokesman for both the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation. He served as a trusted information source to the Alaska Legislature during the 29th legislative session, and regularly provided testimony on multiple pieces of marijuana legislation. As a commercial pilot and registered architect, Mr. Schulte is familiar with highly regulated trades.

Emmett has been involved in the legalization movement here in Alaska as the Executive Director for the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation. He is also actively involved with the Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor’s Marijuana Work Group. He and his organization have worked tirelessly with state civic leaders to responsibly shape this new burgeoning industry.




Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Office of Governor Bill Walker


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