Gov. Mike Dunleavy shocked many last month when he sacked Marijuana Control Board Chairman Brandon Emmett and appointed Vivan Stiver to the board post. Ms. Stiver is a well-known opponent of the adult-use program in Alaska, and many see the move as an ominous attempt to undermine the voter-approved law.
Voters approved the state's adult-use law in 2014 by historic margins. Since then, the state has launched a program that generates jobs, revenue, and avoids much of the harm created by marijuana prohibition. The transition from prohibition to regulation has been a success.
But despite clear advances, there have been detractors, and few are as well-known as Vivian Stiver. From her failed attempt to ban businesses in Fairbanks in 2017, to opposing individual licenses, few opponents have been as notorious as Vivian Stiver. If there is a bright spot in her record, it's that she has been ineffective at imposing prohibition policies so far. That may soon change.
Alaska needs board members who support the regulatory path voters have taken, rather than oppose it. Please send a message to your lawmakers and voice your opposition to this ill-considered and harmful appointment.
Three measures aimed at banning cannabis businesses were soundly defeated in Tuesday’s Alaska elections. Voters in the city of Fairbanks, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough each rejected measures aimed at banning cannabis businesses.
This is fantastic news! Huge congratulations go out to all those who voted, and the many supporters and advocates who worked hard in opposition. Your great work paid off!
All indications are that the measures were defeated by wide margins. The KPB’s unofficial result was 64% in opposition, with the city of Fairbanks estimated at 69% and FNSB’s estimate at a whopping 70%.
If the prohibitionists had succeeded, businesses would have been shuttered, taking jobs and livelihoods with them, and adult consumers would have been cut off from legal, regulated access. But just as they have in other legalization states like Washington, Colorado, and Oregon, voters continue to support the better approach.
The regulatory body in charge of marijuana policy in Alaska has just taken steps to become the first state to allow on-site consumption at retail marijuana stores.
Alaska Dispatch News reports:
At the Alaska Marijuana Control Board's meeting held Wednesday through Friday this week in Fairbanks, board members approved 3-2 a proposal to set up rules for on-site marijuana consumption at retail stores.
The proposal includes a draft of specific rules for everything from ventilation and location of these consumption areas to how much marijuana can be used there, and much more. Citizens will have 60 days to comment on the proposal before the draft rules come back to the board, likely at the November meeting.
In November 2015, the board voted to allow on-site consumption at marijuana stores. Alaska Dispatch News reported at the time that the amendment passed to allow such consumption would function "as a placeholder," pending more specific rules. In February, Alaska Dispatch News reported the board abandoned a regulatory project that had been in the works since May 2016. But then, in March, the body decided it would take another stab at it.
On Nov. 4, 53% of Alaska voters approved Measure 2 to legalize and regulate the cultivation, possession, and sale of marijuana in Alaska. Tomorrow, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, City of Fairbanks, and City of North Pole city councils will hold a special public forum to discuss potential marijuana regulations at the local level.
Local governments have authority under Measure 2 to impose reasonable regulations, such as limitations on business hours and zoning. If you are a Fairbanks North Star area resident, please let your local elected representatives know you appreciate them taking this new law seriously and expect sensible regulations.
Please attend the hearing and testify in favor of allowing licensed cultivation centers and retail stores to do business.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Pioneer Park Civic Center
2300 Airport Road
Comments are limited to three minutes. Here are suggested talking points to incorporate into your testimony:
- Thank you for being proactive, and inviting input from the public.
- It is early in the process, but deliberate and thoughtful rulemaking is appreciated.
- Reasonable regulations should protect public safety, but also allow the industry to exist.
- Local lawmakers should continue studying to prepare for this new industry.
Nearly 60% of voters in the Fairbanks North Star Borough voted for Measure 2. Make sure elected officials hear from that sensible majority.