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first_imgThe chairman of the state’s Marijuana Control Board says the state is on track with its regulatory process work. On Talk of Alaska Dec. 15, Bruce Schulte said the state had to finalize regulations by Nov. 24 and finished a few days before that date. Schulte says the next deadline is Feb. 24, 2016. Download Audio“And that’s the last date by which the state must begin accept applications for the various licenses and we’re on schedule to hit that date as well.”Schulte says there have been some sticking points along the way, one of the bigger ones was residency requirements for potential business owners. The initial idea was to use voter registration rolls but the final decision was to use the same rules that govern eligibility for the permanent fund. Schulte says verifying legal residents is important to meet federal criteria.“Which if met would basically keep the DEA out of our hair. And one of those was that we had an accurate way of vetting who is participating in this industry so by having a solid residency requirement and knowing who is applying that at least is one of those criteria.”One of the challenges for Alaska will be access to mandatory testing facilities for communities off the road system. Marijuana will have to be tested for mold, residual pesticides or fertilizer and to measure potency. Schulte, a commercial pilot, says that will be difficult.“Federal aviation regulations specifically say you can not carry cannabis in a commercial flight, the air crew, the air carrier can not carry cannabis in that fashion, unless it’s legal in that state. So you would think, ‘OK, good, we’re solid right?’ That’s what I thought too, but no, there’s a federal statute that overrides that, that says, ‘OK, all those federal regulations not withstanding, if a pilot or carrier knowingly carries these substances, we’re going to revoke his license and we’re going to pull the carrier’s certificate.’ So it’s a fairly high bar and as a professional pilot, my attitude is yeah, I’m not going to do that, I don’t want to lose my license, but that’s the problem we have right now.”Schulte says there is tacit acceptance in Oregon to allow intrastate travel, but he says Alaska flight standard officials haven’t adopted it yet.He says there’s also remaining problems with banking and IRS rules.“There are bills pending in both the House and Senate on banking and IRS rules and we’ll see, getting that accomplished is like getting an act of Congress, literally.”He says the easiest route to solve these problems would be for the federal government to simply declassify marijuana and remove it from the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance list.Anchorage resident Jane Stinson ran into local stumbling blocks. Stinson is retired and wanted to start a family business in the marijuana trade here, but she says finding retail space has been tough. She found a landlord who was initially willing, but then changed his mind.“He was uncomfortable because he was afraid of what banks in the city might do if he submitted a lease that had marijuana on it, so those are the kinds of concerns and issues that we’re coming up against.”Stinson says she still hasn’t found a willing retail landlord in Anchorage.last_img read more