Marijuana bill stalls in conference over rural opt-out; Jana Weltzin discusses

By DJ Summers in Alaska Journal of Commerce

A bill standing in the way of marijuana license applications is still deadlocked in Conference Committee, as legislators argue over a bill provision that would opt rural Alaska villages out of commercial marijuana.

House Bill 75, introduced by Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, and its Senate companion, a committee substitute Senate Bill 14, remain under consideration after an April 13 hearing that underlined disagreements but brought no conclusion. The committee broke to compile more information regarding unorganized villages that have opted out of alcohol sales.

The bill would change statutory language to allow the Department of Public Safety to request federal background checks for commercial marijuana license applicants. A similar provision is included in SB 165, scheduled for a April 14 hearing in the House Judiciary Committee at 1 pm, which could bypass HB 75 gridlock.

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