Lawmakers plan to work on marijuana bills over interim

JUNEAU — Alaska lawmakers say they will continue working on marijuana bills over the interim.

Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, said the House Judiciary Committee, which she chairs, will work on a bill that would update state crime laws to reflect marijuana legalization, including a discussion of whether it should be on Alaska’s list of controlled substances.

That was one of several marijuana-related bills introduced this session, after voters in November approved recreational marijuana. Just one has passed: a bill from Gov. Bill Walker that creates a new marijuana board.

Unless action is taken before the Legislature ends, or the governor adds them to a special session call, they’ll be on the table when work resumes next January.

LeDoux said the committee didn’t want to rush legislation through and pass the Senate’s version of the bill without studying it. Instead they’ll continue that work this summer.

“I really want to kind of go over it with a fine-tooth comb, and make sure that what we do is correct,” she said.

The Senate spent about two and a half months on several drafts of the bill before passing a version in March that kept marijuana on the state’s controlled substances list.

LeDoux said her preference is to remove marijuana from that list, but some committee members want it on there.

Senate Majority Leader John Coghill, R-North Pole, said lawmakers will also work over the interim on a bill addressing how municipalities can trump state laws with local regulations, including prohibiting marijuana businesses or limiting hours of operation, for example.

That bill was sent back to the Senate Rules Committee after the version that passed the House didn’t have enough votes to pass in the Senate.

Coghill said the sticking points are local option provisions and a household limit for marijuana plants.

Some lawmakers want to prohibit marijuana businesses in much of the unorganized borough, and have communities opt back in to marijuana regulations, while others would prefer to use the opt-out system that was set up in the ballot initiative.

“Since we don’t really have to get it into place until the industry is allowed to license itself, we though, let’s let it sit for the summer and figure that out.” Coghill said.

The new marijuana board has a November deadline for drafting regulations for the new industry, with the first licenses expected to be handed out in May 2016.

More in News

Christie Hill prepares to play “Taps” during the 9/11 memorial service on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer honors lives lost during 9/11

The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary held a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at the… Continue reading

Judith Eckert
COVID-19 patient says monoclonal antibody infusion saved her life

Antibody infusions highly effective in reducing risk of hospitalization, according to FDA trial ..

A sign flashing “Keep COVID down” also offers information on where to get testing and vaccines on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
SPH holding steady in COVID-19 surge

Despite hospital crisis in Anchorage, Homer’s hospital not impacted, spokesperson tells Homer City Council.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Parents square off over masks at school board meeting

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required, while others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

.
Borough School Board election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Homer City Council election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Janie Leask, a Homer resident, spoke in support of the new multi-use community center during Monday night’s city council meeting, stating the need for community recreation is vital.
Council moves forward with HERC plans

After years of discussions and planning, the Homer City Council is quickly… Continue reading

Most Read