- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska lawmakers have approved creation of a marijuana board to write regulations for the new industry.

The state Senate on Saturday voted in favor of the bill proposed by Gov. Bill Walker to create a new marijuana control board, and the House on Sunday agreed with the version of the bill passed in the Senate.

When voters legalized limited recreational marijuana in November, they also directed either the state alcohol board or a new marijuana board to develop regulations for commercial and retail marijuana cultivation and sales.

The five-member board will share resources and staff with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, and include representation from rural Alaska, the public health and safety sectors, and the new industry.

The bill included a $1.5 million fiscal note to fund the board.

Cynthia Franklin, the executive director of the alcohol board, has said that the marijuana control board was the most needed marijuana bill this session because it would provide funding for the rulemaking process.

Legislators also worked on several other marijuana bills this session, including one that would clarify municipalities’ role in regulating marijuana. That was referred back to the Senate Rules Committee late Sunday when it was up for reconsideration, after failing in a 10-10 vote on Saturday.

That bill would also limit how many marijuana plants could be grown in one household, which Franklin has said would provide a more clear line between personal use and commercial growing operations.

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