Alaska Governor signs marijuana regulations, but Department of Law warns of security gap

Lieutenant Gov. Byron Mallott signed Alaska’s first commercial marijuana regulations on Friday, but regulators and legislators now face a headache from the FBI.

In a memo dated Jan. 20, Senior Assistant Attorney General Steven Weaver wrote the executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board to say that in order for the FBI to perform background checks on prospective marijuana entrepreneurs, the Alaska Legislature needs to pass a law requesting such checks.

According to the FBI’s interpretation of federal law, “specific authority (must) be expressed in a state statute to require fingerprinting and the use of Federal Bureau of Investigation records,” Weaver wrote.

While the marijuana control board requested such checks, it did so in regulation. Statutes come from the Legislature or a voter-approved ballot initiative.

Last year, Alaska lawmakers approved House Bill 123, which established the marijuana board and said a marijuana business cannot not be owned by a...

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