Pot initiative backer cites concern with Alaska smoking bill

JUNEAU — Public smoking restrictions that recently passed the Alaska Senate could hurt proposed cannabis cafes in the state, a sponsor of the initiative that legalized recreational marijuana in Alaska said Friday.

In a release, Tim Hinterberger said the bill would undermine the current regulatory system.

Late last year, the Marijuana Control Board approved regulations that would allow for onsite consumption of marijuana at authorized retail pot shops. The specific rules surrounding that have yet to be decided. No retail shops have been licensed yet.

The board first began accepting applications for marijuana establishments in February and plans to issue licenses for testing and cultivation facilities first.

The bill, SB 1, takes aim at secondhand smoke and seeks to provide a statewide smoke-free workplace law for businesses and public places, according to a sponsor statement from Sen. Peter Micciche, who introduced the bill in January 2015. He said he took on the issue to “protect the rights of the non-smoker, save lives and reduce the staggering health costs of secondhand exposure to tobacco use.”

Cynthia Franklin, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, said the bill would have an impact on onsite consumption if retail marijuana stores are not exempted. While marijuana can be consumed in other ways, without an exemption, smoking would be prohibited, she said. The definition of smoking in the bill includes the use of tobacco or “plant product” intended for inhalation.

More in News

Teaser
Then Now: Looking back on pandemic response

Comparing messaging from 1918 to 2021

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State Parks to hold meeting on Eastland Cottonwood unit

Meeting will include update on Tutka Bay Hatchery bill

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna Trooper arrested for multiple charges of child sex abuse

He has been a State Trooper in Soldotna since June 2020.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. An Alaska state lawmaker was cited for driving with an open can of beer in his vehicle that another lawmaker said was actually his. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmaker cited for open beer fellow legislator says was his

Republican Sen. Josh Revak plans to challenge the $220 ticket.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
This 2011 photo shows the Taku and Malaspina ferries at the Auke Bay Terminal.
Costs add up as ferry idled nearly 2 years

Associated Press The cost to the state for docking an Alaska ferry… Continue reading

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
The Alaska Capitol is shown on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. There is interest among lawmakers and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in settling a dispute over the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program, but no consensus on what the program should look like going forward.
Alaskans get annual boost of free money from PFD

Checks of $1,114 are expected to be paid to about 643,000 Alaskans, beginning this week.

Most Read