As Marijuana Rules Take Shape, A Focus on Local Control

The state has a year until it begins issuing licenses for businesses selling recreational marijuana. Between now and then, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board is home to a new body developing regulations: the Marijuana Control Board.

The rules taking shape are modeled on commercial alcohol sales, with regulators hoping to learn from past mistakes in Washington and Colorado.

On Thursday, ABC Board Director Cynthia Franklin spoke to members of the Anchorage Assembly in a packed conference room. The state codes concerned with growing, selling, and managing marijuana are expected to be done by November. And similar to Title 4 dealing with alcohol, the emerging ordinances are based on lots of local control.

“There’s really no way for the board to know what’s going on in the community,” Franklin said. The five-member Marijuana Board created in this year’s legislative session is patterned on the ABC Board, made up of five unpaid volunteers representing industry, public safety,...

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