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JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker signed two pieces of legislation Monday—House Bill 123, a bill the Governor sponsored to create the Marijuana Control Board; and HB 116, a bill sponsored by the House Labor and Commerce Committee extending the existence of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
“I look forward to seeing the hard work of the ABC Board continue, and I know the Marijuana Control Board has an incredibly big task ahead,” Governor Walker said. “I trust these two boards are in good hands with the exceptionally capable Cynthia Franklin as their executive director.”
HB 116 extends the existing authorization of the ABC Board. The board’s mission is to control manufacturing, possession, sale, barter and trade of alcoholic beverages in the state of Alaska. The ABC Board and its agency staff, which is housed in the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic development, issue liquor licenses and permits, and enforce laws and regulations regarding alcohol in Alaska. There are currently about 1,875 active liquor licenses in the state. Each licensee relies on the ABC board and agency for the renewal and administration of licenses..
Governor Walker introduced HB 123, which creates a Marijuana Control Board tasked with developing regulations covering aspects of marijuana cultivation, processing, and commercial sale. The board will include representatives from the public health and safety sectors, industry, and rural Alaska, and will share staff with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
“This legislation is crucial in fulfilling the voter initiative that was passed last fall,” Governor Walker said. “By empowering the new board with the authority and resources to develop a strong regulatory framework, Alaska has the opportunity to establish clear, consistent, and thorough rules around this substance for the benefit of citizens, licensees, and law enforcement.”