Rift forms over Anchorage Assembly member’s participation in marijuana votes, Jana Weltzin urges Assembly to reconsider

by Devin Kelly in Alaska Dispatch News

Members of the Anchorage Assembly and the nascent marijuana industry are grappling over whether Assemblyman Patrick Flynn, the only representative from downtown on the body, should sit out votes on marijuana licenses when he is himself an investor in a marijuana startup.

Flynn, a part-owner in a company applying to grow commercial pot, was barred by fellow Assembly members last month from participating in votes on the city’s first batch of cultivation licenses. Members of the majority said it wasn’t appropriate for Flynn to decide the fate of competitors as businesses jostle for a foothold.

But a group of new participants in the marijuana business has asked the Assembly to reconsider its decision. Meanwhile, Assemblyman Pete Petersen, who chairs the Assembly’s ethics committee and thinks Flynn does not have a legal conflict, said this week that his committee will re-examine the issue later this month.

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