Alaska Marijuana Board Reverts Residency Standard

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December 2, 2015

Editor's note: A late-November meeting of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board issued some big changes to the upcoming industry regulations, including loosening residency requirements for investors.

In an emergency meeting, the Marijuana Control Board voted unanimously on Dec. 1 to reinstate a stricter residency requirement for marijuana business licensees, following Permanent Fund Dividend rules instead of voter registration rules.

The board also tried to loosen rules to allow more access to Outside money, but public process rules will hold that discussion until the board’s next meeting in February 2016.

The regulatory package will now move to Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot for approval pending a review by the Department of Law to make sure the regulations follow statute.

“This amendment essentially changes the residency requirements back to what were in the draft regulations,” board chairman Bruce Schulte said.

This requirement plus the definitions of financial investment satisfies the demands of some in the local cannabis industry and the board’s legal advisers, who respectively fear “Big Marijuana” investors and federal money laundering charges, but frightens others about their prospects in a small market with limited capital.

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