Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a press conference at the Capitol on April 9, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a press conference at the Capitol on April 9, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Dunleavy not planning marijuana board repeal this session

Governor’s focus will be on other legislative priorities

Gov. Mike Dunleavy does not plan to introduce legislation this session that would propose eliminating the board that regulates Alaska’s legal marijuana industry, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Spokesman Matt Shuckerow said the decision was based on the time left in session and Dunleavy’s focus on other legislative priorities, such as the budget and crime bills.

[Should Juneau change its laws to allow marijuana consumption at certain locations?]

He said he did not have an update on whether Dunleavy planned to pursue the idea in the future.

Earlier this year, Commerce Commissioner Julie Anderson in a message to department employees outlined Dunleavy’s plans for the department. A section on legislation expected from Dunleavy included repeal of the Alcoholic Beverage Control and Marijuana Control boards, with the intent to transfer the authority and responsibility of the boards to the commissioner.

The idea garnered pushback from members of the marijuana industry who support how the board approaches issues it addresses.

Wednesday marked the 100th day of the legislative session. The constitution permits regular sessions of 121 days, with an option to extend for an additional 10.

Shuckerow also said Dunleavy does not plan to appoint a new member to the Marijuana Control Board until after the legislative session ends. The Legislature, meeting in joint session last week to consider confirmation of Dunleavy appointees, rejected his nomination of Vivian Stiver. Stiver was involved in a failed 2017 effort to ban marijuana operations in Fairbanks.

Shuckerow pointed to a provision of state law that says appointees not confirmed by the end of a regular session would be considered failed. He cited the unlikelihood that lawmakers would hold another joint session to consider additional appointments.

Opponents of Stiver sought to cast her as a prohibitionist, while supporters said she would bring fresh perspective and fairly hear issues. Dunleavy had picked her to replace Brandon Emmett, who had been one of two industry representatives on the board.

[Marijuana retailers would like to offer smoking space]

The law establishing the five-member board allows for up to two members actively involved in the industry, though one of those seats could go to a member of the general public. That would have been the case with Stiver.

Shuckerow said that moving forward Dunleavy will “examine prospective candidates and make a selection to the Marijuana Control Board that he believes will best serve Alaska.”

Dunleavy’s other nominee to the board, Lt. Christopher Jaime, an Alaska Wildlife Trooper nominated to its public safety seat, was confirmed without debate.

The board is scheduled to meet next week in Anchorage. Items on the agenda include routine licensing matters and “on-site consumption clean-up.” A message seeking details on the latter was sent to the director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.

The board previously approved regulations allowing for onsite use of marijuana at authorized retail locations but officials have indicated revisions may be needed to provide greater clarity.


• This is an Associated Press report by Becky Bohrer.


More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Good times keep rolling with Platypus Gaming

Two-day mini-con held at Juneau Public Library.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau man indicted on child pornography charges

A Juneau man was indicted Thursday on charges of possessing or accessing… Continue reading

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Juneau’s municipal and state legislative members, their staff, and city lobbyists gather in the Assembly chambers Thursday meeting for an overview of how the Alaska State Legislature and politicians in Washington, D.C., are affecting local issues.
Local leaders, lawmakers and lobbyists discuss political plans for coming year

Morning meeting looks at local impact of state, national political climates.

This photo shows pills police say were seized after a suspicious package was searched. (Juneau Police Department)
Police: 1,000 fentanyl pills, 86 grams of meth seized

Juneau man arrested on felony charges.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Captain Anne Wilcock recieves the Emery Valentine Leadership Award at the 2022 CCFR awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 14. (Courtesy Photo / CCFR)
CCFR honors responders during annual banquet

Capital City Fire/Rescue hosted its 2022 awards banquet earlier this month as… Continue reading

A resident and his dog walk past the taped off portion of the Basin Road Trestle after it suffered damaged from a rockslide earlier this week. The trestle is open to pedestrians, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic until structural repairs are made, according to city officials. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rocky road: Basin Road Trestle open to pedestrians, remains closed to vehicles

City officials say repairs are currently being assessed after damaging rockfall

Most Read