Work still to be done on marijuana regulations

  • Saturday, July 4, 2015 4:18pm
  • Opinion

Marijuana was again in the news this week, as the state Marijuana Control Board and area municipalities continue to develop regulations for the recently legalized drug.

Earlier this week, Soldotna Police Chief Peter Mlynarik was appointed to the Marijuana Control Board by Gov. Bill Walker. Mlynarik, a longtime state trooper, will represent public safety concerns on the body developing marijuana regulations.

The board met Thursday in Fairbanks, and, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, signed off on four statutory changes it would like to see the Legislature take up in the next session. Those items include allowing cannabis clubs, updating criminal law, clarifying the difference between a personal grow and an illegal operation, and giving villages the ability to opt out of commercial marijuana sales.

During their meeting Wednesday, members of the Kenai City Council were given questionnaires, the answers from which are intended to give the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission guidance in developing rules to regulate marijuana businesses within city limits.

While council members’ views on the issue vary, they all started with the assumption that marijuana sales should be legal in the city.

While much work has been done in crafting regulations for the marijuana industry, there is still much to do. Colorado and Washington may provide a template, but those states are still learning what works and doesn’t work.

Moving forward, state and local regulators will be best served by constructive public comment from people on all sides of the issue. It’s important that those drafting the rules have a good sense of where the public feels industry should be restricted — for example, near schools — as well as how to fulfill the intent of Alaska voters who made marijuana legal last fall.

Draft state regulations have been posted for public comment; visit For more information on the proposed regulations and to submit comment, go to commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/abc. The comment period is July 7-Aug. 8.

City councils and commissions, as well as the borough assembly, also are likely to take up marijuana issues in the coming months. There will be plenty of opportunity for the public to be involved; it is now up to the public to ensure that regulations are crafted that we all can live with.

More in Opinion

The official ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Division of Elections)
Voices of the Peninsula: Check out the ballot before you vote

This kind of ballot is not something you have seen before.

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party

State Sen. Josh Revak (Photo provided)
The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The hope is that the bipartisan American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) will come to the Senate floor for a vote

Michael Heimbuch attends a memorial service for the late Drew Scalzi on Aug. 5, 2005, at the Seafarers Memorial on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Point of View: King salmon: The clash of culture and science

People do some pretty awful things to king salmon stocks

Lieutenant governor candidate Edie Grunwald speaks at a Charlie Pierce campaign event at Paradisos restaurant in Kenai on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Election Integrity: An Alaskan question with an Alaskan answer

A needless round of feel-good meetings and what-if conversations will be a thing of the past

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

The offical ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Divison of Elections)
Opinion: Alaskans deserve an election system that represents our differences

The new system’s goal is to make this election cycle transparent, secure and easy for all Alaskans to vote

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

The cost of health insurance will rise substantially next year for about 13 million Americans

Most Read