On-site consumption comes under fire in Alaska

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Two newly-appointed marijuana regulators could be a problem for on-site consumption

Alaska’s governor, Mike Dunleavy, has appointed two new regulators to help oversee the state’s marijuana industry. While the appointments still need to be approved by Alaskan lawmakers, there are some concerns that the duo could bring a halt to any attempt at allowing on-site consumption in the state.

Alaska had previously begun to analyze the possibility of allowing consumption at certain marijuana stores last year. However, Vivian Stiver and Lieutenant Christopher Jaime might not be so ready to see the expansion efforts as they join the Marijuana Control Board (MCB).

Stiver is replacing Brandon Emmett on the MCB. She is part of a group that failed to ban marijuana operations in Fairbanks in 2017. That area has since flourished and is now a leading grow zone for the legal marijuana industry in the state. Without elaborating, she states, “There are aspects of legalization that aren’t so good, right? I mean, that just can’t be denied. So I want to contribute what I can, the best that I can that people have knowledge, our youth have knowledge, they understand what can happen.”

Jaime is a current Alaska Wildlife Trooper who will replace the current chief of the Sitka police force, Jeff Ankerfelt. Ankerfelt had been appointed by Alaska’s former governor, Bill Walker, but had never been confirmed. Jaime is being appointed to the MCB in accordance with its rules that stipulate two of the five members should be part of the “general public.”

Jaime may not be as strictly against marijuana as Stiver, but he is certainly taking a cautious approach. He states that he wants to learn more about the issue, adding that he understands the importance of respecting the people’s wishes, but that sensible regulations are needed. He says that he wants to “go slow” with further marijuana developments in the state.

Both nominees have come out, to some degree, against on-site marijuana use. Stiver, always a staunch opponent to marijuana, doesn’t like the idea and Jaime believes the issue needs to be “revisited.”