Alaska House Passes Marijuana Regulation Bill

The state House Thursday afternoon passed a bill that would clarify municipal regulation of marijuana businesses and define the number of plants allowed per household.

House Bill 75 clarifies municipalities' processes for registering marijuana businesses; authorizes "marijuana clubs" where the substance could be consumed; gives municipalities power to establish civil and criminal penalties for businesses; defines what the term "assisting" means in terms of helping someone with their plants or marijuana; establishes provisions for communities to prohibit businesses; and establishes a 24-plant limit per household.

The 11-page HB 75 was sponsored by the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee. Chair Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, testified that the bill was "fix-it" legislation seeking to clarify processes for implementing the initiative at the municipal level. More than a dozen municipal attorneys helped craft the bill, Tilton testified.

Alaska's initiative legalizing recreational marijuana went into effect Feb. 24, but the eight-page bill left many of the details of regulation up to the state. HB 75 will now advance to the Senate for further consideration. On the Senate side, the closely watched marijuana crime bill has advanced furthest, passing the Senate last week and now heading to the House.