Business licensing process continues as deadline for state officials looms
Last update: April 28, 2016
The Marijuana Control Board began accepting business applications in February, with state law mandating that the approval process must begin on May 24. According to the state’s website, applicants seeking cultivation and testing licenses receive top priority, with processors and retailer licenses following later in the year. For specifics on the state program, including a calendar with important benchmarks, an FAQ, and training videos for applicants, click here.
However, there is concern that the state will miss its May 24 deadline. The application review and approval process was halted and unnecessarily delayed when the director of the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office, Cynthia Franklin, decided to wait for lawmakers to pass a bill authorizing national background checks. While few oppose the idea of background checks, they are not required under the law, and the delay has become a serious setback for businesses and local communities. Fortunately, the Marijuana Control Board responded to these concerns and began expediting the review process at its April 27 meeting. In the meantime, a bill that would clearly authorize background checks will soon arrive on the governor’s desk for a signature. Fortunately, that process will no longer slow the important work the MCB or local governments must do to conform to state requirements.
Other regulatory challenges also lie ahead, including the board’s effort to establish rules regulating cannabis cafés, as well as access to testing facilities for those businesses without easy access to the state road system. So stay tuned!
If you have not already, please subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service. We’re keeping our subscribers posted as we work with our local allies to ensure Measure 2 is faithfully implemented. So far, advocates have persuaded legislative committees not to replace Measure 2’s comprehensive legal protections with a mere defense, persuaded Anchorage elected officials to defeat a ban on marijuana businesses, helped establish protections for cannabis cafés, and avoided a harmful ban on businesses in unincorporated parts of the state.
Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. Please tell your friends and family about this page, so that even more voices for responsible marijuana policies can be heard. And, if you are celebrating, please be sure to consume responsibly!