Panel advances national checks for pot business applicants

JUNEAU — A state Senate committee has advanced legislation that would allow regulators of Alaska’s up-and-coming legal marijuana industry to obtain national criminal history checks on those applying for marijuana business licenses.

This came the same day that prospective business owners could begin applying for licenses. The fix was sought by the Marijuana Control Board.

A law passed last year prohibited the issuance of licenses to individuals who have had felony convictions within five years of their application or are on probation or parole for that felony. The Department of Law said specific authority was needed in state law to require fingerprinting and the use of FBI records for national checks.

The bill that advanced Wednesday also would let established villages decide whether they want to approve marijuana establishments within their borders.

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