Sessions' Decision on Legal Cannabis Drives Out Chief of Alaska Marijuana Control Board

Sessions' Decision on Legal Cannabis Drives Out Chief of Alaska Marijuana Control Board

Former Alaska Marijuana Control Board Chairman Peter Mlynarik announced his resignation Thursday afternoon.

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News State by State: Alaska

FAIRBANKS — Former Alaska Marijuana Control Board Chairman Peter Mlynarik announced his resignation Thursday afternoon after Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to rescind what’s known as the Cole Memorandum, an Obama-era move to separate federal regulations from states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use.

Mlynarik said he resigned because of Sessions’ decision, among other reasons, and said he thinks changes in regulations remove the legal foundation for Alaska’s marijuana industry.

“Marijuana was never legal federally, but with the Cole Memo, it gave businesses and institutions a little more freedom. It essentially said this isn’t necessarily a priority as long as business is being conducted in a responsible way,” Mlynarik said in an interview Friday. “Sessions’ decision certainly removed those assurances.”

Mlynarik said that, though a reason for the regulation crackdown was left unclear by the Department of Justice, he is sure one exists.

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