Ketchikan committee approves new rules for pot businesses

KETCHIKAN — Ketchikan’s Marijuana Advisory Committee has proposed new limits on how pot businesses can transport their products for testing.

The committee voted in favor of the changes Friday that will be reviewed by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly, The Ketchikan Daily News reported.

The committee’s proposed rules would require a plan for pot product testing that does not “rely on transportation of testing samples by mail or common carrier unless such transportation is permitted under federal law.”

Federal law restricts pot from being transported by sea or air, which poses a challenge for many southeast Alaska communities that lack access to pot testing facilities. State law requires marijuana products be tested for THC content and other criteria before they are sold.

Some residents say the committee should hold off on proposing new rules, because the federal Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced it would review its regulation of marijuana.

Eric Reimer, a marijuana business applicant in the Ketchikan-area, said during the committee’s Friday meeting that local governments should “see what (the state is) going to do before adopting any local ordinance that might negatively impact the new economy here.”

Glen Thompson, a member of the Borough Assembly and chair of the committee, acknowledged that the federal position on marijuana may become more lax but said “we need to be consistent with the law as it stands right now.”

“It’s very difficult for me as an Assembly member to have a regulation on the books that doesn’t pass muster with federal law,” he said.

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Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.ketchikandailynews.com

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