Walker signs alcohol bill with marijuana business provisions

Gov. Bill Walker has signed legislation allowing for national criminal history checks on people applying for licenses for legal marijuana businesses in Alaska.

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The provisions, sought by state marijuana regulators, were tucked into a bill dealing with alcohol laws.

Cynthia Franklin, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, said by email that the language will allow staff to send fingerprints gathered in the application process to Alaska’s Department of Public Safety and the FBI. She says her office doesn’t expect that the histories will be run by those agencies before the law becomes effective in 90 days.

The Marijuana Control Board has been issuing licenses based on applicants’ sworn certification that they do not have a disqualifying criminal history. If the background check shows they do, Franklin says the license will be subject to immediate suspension.

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