Plenty of questions remain for Alaska as legislators prepare to implement Ballot Measure 2.
Question: I am hoping to start a marijuana business. What do I need to know about raising capital for my business?
Answer: Seeking investors for your business may involve state and federal securities laws. Before offering securities you should review state and federal laws and regulations and consult a professional who is knowledgeable about securities transactions. In almost all cases, prior to meeting certain securities law requirements, you may not advertise to find investors. This prohibition includes print and electronic media, including your own website, Facebook, Twitter or Craigslist.
Offering a security may involve legal and financial consequences that can result in civil liability and money damages to you if you don’t follow the law. Contact the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities at 888-925-2521 or visit the Division of Banking & Securities for more information.
Q: Will individual communities be able to opt out of marijuana manufacture and sales?
A: Yes. AS 17.38 provides for local option elections that permit a community in Alaska to opt out of manufacture and sales of marijuana. Communities will continue to be bound by authority regarding individual constitutional privacy rights as set forth by the Supreme Court in Ravin v. Alaska.
Q: Who is writing the regulations for marijuana manufacture and sales?
A: The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has been tasked with drafting the regulations relating to the manufacture and sale of marijuana products. Alternatively, AS 17.38.080 authorizes the legislature to create a separate Marijuana Control Board to assume the power, duties and responsibility.
Q: Who will administer the licenses and enforce regulatory restrictions on the licenses?
A: AS 17.38.900 defines the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board as responsible for adopting regulations as outlined in AS 17.38.090 unless the Legislature creates a separate Marijuana Control Board.
Q: Can I sell or buy marijuana legally starting today?
A: No. The act becomes effective 90 days after certification. Until that date, all current statutes and regulations relating to marijuana are in full force and effect.
Q: How much harvested marijuana does AS 17.38 allow an unlicensed person to possess in his or her home?
A: Four ounces or less. AS 17.38.020 allows for the in-home production and possession of marijuana for personal use. The Alaska Court of Appeals in Noy v. State (2003) ruled that possession of marijuana in an amount greater than four ounces is not personal use possession. Additionally, AS 17.38.020 specifies it will be lawful to possess marijuana harvested from up to six plants (three or fewer being mature, flowering plants) on the premises where the plants were grown.
Q: If multiple people live in a single residence, can they combine personal-use plant and/or harvested-marijuana limits set forth in AS 17.38.020 to increase the legal limit for the residence?
A: No. AS 17.38 does not change Alaska law regarding the definition and application of the legal concept of possession.
Q: After the effective date of Feb. 24, 2015, can an unlicensed person legally possess more than four ounces of harvested marijuana by establishing a cooperative or communal organization or by acting as a proxy for another person?
Q: What types of licenses will be available?
A: The types of licenses and process for acquiring them have yet to be determined. AS 17.38 gives the state of Alaska nine months to develop regulations for licensing.
Q: Is the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board keeping a list of individuals or businesses interested in starting a marijuana business that I can put my name on?
A: No. AS 17.38 gives the state of Alaska nine months to develop regulations for licensing marijuana growers and sellers. These regulations must be written and codified before individuals or businesses may apply for licenses. The board will start accepting applications by Feb. 24, 2016 and will act on them within 90 days of receipt of application.
Q: As of the effective date of Feb. 24, 2015, will it be legal for people to engage in delivery, manufacture, cultivation and testing as described in marijuana initiative AS 17.38.020?
A: No. Persons who are not licensed to engage in delivery, manufacture and testing will continue to be subject to prosecution for AS 11.71 criminal statue offenses. It is anticipated that licenses will be issued by May 2016 per the timeline described in AS 17.38. As of the effective date, personal use as described in AS 17.38.020 will be legal.
Source: Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board