Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

02/26/2015 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
03:03:16 PM Start
03:03:41 PM Presentation: Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Assistance
04:17:51 PM HB59
04:55:31 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: TELECONFERENCED
Division of Public Assistance - Director Ron
Kreher & Other Invited Guests
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 59 MARIJUANA CONCENTRATES; LICENSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HB 59-MARIJUANA CONCENTRATES; LICENSES                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 59, "An  Act relating to  marijuana concentrates;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:17:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ moved  to  adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 59,  labeled 29-LS0257\S, Martin, 2/24/15,                                                               
as the working draft.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:18:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:18:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TANEEKA HANSEN, Staff, Representative Paul Seaton, Alaska State                                                                 
Legislature, explained the changes contained in the proposed CS,                                                                
paraphrasing from a prepared statement, which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5:                                                                                                               
     Page 4, line 7 & 11                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Registration is replaced with license.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6:                                                                                                               
     Page 4, lines 26 - page 5, line 2                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Language requiring the regulations to include                                                                              
     prohibitions on the combination of marijuana with                                                                          
     alcohol and nicotine has been deleted. Language                                                                            
     requiring the regulations to prohibit the sale of                                                                          
     marijuana in an establishment which sells alcohol has                                                                      
     also been removed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     New language was added which states that the                                                                               
     regulations created by the board may include                                                                               
     prohibitions on combining marijuana concentrates with                                                                      
     other addictive substances or requirements that new                                                                        
     products be certified before they are available for                                                                        
     retail.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 12:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, lines 8 - 15                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Subsections (j), (k), and (l) have been added.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (j) allows the board by regulation to                                                                           
     create the number or type of licenses necessary for                                                                        
     implementation.  Subsection (k) prohibits the issues                                                                       
     of a license for a marijuana retail store to a person                                                                      
     who holds a license under AS 04.  Subsection (l)                                                                           
     states that a license issued to a marijuana                                                                                
     manufacturing facility does not authorize the facility                                                                     
     to combine marijuana with tobacco, nicotine, or                                                                            
     alcohol or products containing them.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 22                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 8, lines 23 -25                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
       The words 'through the use of a solvent other than                                                                       
        water' have been removed from the definition of                                                                         
     concentrates.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:22:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  removed  his objection,  therefore,  the  proposed                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for   HB  59,  labeled  29-LS0257\S,                                                               
Martin, 2/24/15, was adopted as the working draft.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:22:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL objected  and, referring to page  6, line 12,                                                               
asked about the license requirement.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON relayed  that  an amendment  would  be included  to                                                               
correct that language.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES said that her  question was similar to that                                                               
of the previous  member's and offered her  understanding that the                                                               
proposed  bill did  not  prohibit a  liquor  license holder  from                                                               
holding  a license  for  the sale  of  marijuana, although  these                                                               
could not necessarily be sold in the same establishment.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN, in response, offered  her belief that subsection (k),                                                               
as  written,  could  be  interpreted   in  that  way;  therefore,                                                               
Amendment S.1 would be proposed for clarification.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:24:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  removed  his  objection.   There  being  no                                                               
further  objection,  CSHB  59,  Version S,  was  adopted  as  the                                                               
working draft.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:25:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  moved to adopt an  amendment, labeled 29-                                                               
LS0257\S.1, Martin, 2/25/15, which read:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2, following "establishments;":                                                                             
          Insert "relating to alcoholic beverages and                                                                         
     marijuana;"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 3:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
         "* Sec. 2. AS 04.16 is amended by adding a new                                                                     
     section to read:                                                                                                           
          Sec. 04.16.165. Restriction on sale of marijuana                                                                    
      on licensed premises. A licensee may not sell, offer                                                                    
      for sale, furnish, or deliver marijuana on licensed                                                                       
     premises."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, lines 10 - 12:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
          "(k)  A marijuana retail store license issued                                                                         
        under this section does not authorize the sale,                                                                         
         offering for sale, furnishing, or delivery of                                                                          
     alcoholic beverages on licensed premises."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:27:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  labeled this  Amendment S.1, and  reviewed it  as a                                                               
means  for removing  the  person  and placing  the  burden on  an                                                               
establishment in  order to address  the issue  of self-medication                                                               
by individuals.  This would  prohibit individuals from purchasing                                                               
recreational marijuana in an alcohol sales establishment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON removed his objection.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:28:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  objected,  asking  for  clarification  that                                                               
Section  12,  subsection (k)  would  not  authorize the  sale  of                                                               
alcoholic beverages  in a  marijuana retail  sale store,  or vice                                                               
versa.   He reflected  that previous  testimony by  Ms. Franklin,                                                               
[Director of the Alcoholic Beverage  Control Board] had suggested                                                               
that  licensing  that  would  allow  on  premise  consumption  of                                                               
marijuana could  occur in the future.   He asked if  the proposed                                                               
amendment only  addressed purchases or  if it also applied  to on                                                               
the premise consumption.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON explained that the  on the premise consumption would                                                               
be  allowed for  either marijuana  or alcohol,  but not  for both                                                               
products  under the  proposed bill.   The  proposed bill  did not                                                               
prevent  a  license  for  usage  or  sale  on  premise,  it  only                                                               
maintained a separation of usage in the same establishment.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  if  this was  a  concurrent issue  in                                                               
another committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:30:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN  offered her  belief that SB  62 had  similar language                                                               
restricting the  sale of marijuana  in an  establishment licensed                                                               
for  alcohol  sale,  and  that  it may  be  more  restrictive  by                                                               
limiting the ownership of licenses for sales of both.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:31:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL removed his objection.  There being no                                                                      
further objection, Amendment S.1 was adopted.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:31:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ moved to adopt an amendment, labeled 29-                                                                 
LS0257\S.1, Martin, 2/25/15, which read:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 5:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Notwithstanding any other provision of                                                                        
     law, the"                                                                                                                  
          Insert "The [NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION                                                                  
     OF LAW, THE]"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete ", and permitted by,"                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 24:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Notwithstanding any other provision of                                                                        
     law, the"                                                                                                                  
          Insert "The [NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION                                                                  
     OF LAW, THE]"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 25:                                                                                                           
          Delete ", and permitted by,"                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Notwithstanding any other provision of                                                                        
     law, the"                                                                                                                  
          Insert "The [NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION                                                                  
     OF LAW, THE]"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete ", and permitted by,"                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON   labeled  this  Amendment   2  and   objected  for                                                               
discussion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:33:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HANSEN explained Amendment 2,  which was primarily conforming                                                               
language  to  SB  30  dealing with  the  criminal  statutes,  and                                                               
deleting the  language for "notwithstanding any  other provisions                                                               
of law."   She noted the removal of "and  permitted by" which had                                                               
allowed a temporary  delay for the concentrates,  stating that it                                                               
was no longer  necessary with the deletion  of the aforementioned                                                               
language for notwithstanding.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:34:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON removed  his  objection.   There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:35:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:36:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM HINTERBERGER,  Ph.D., Chair,  Campaign to  Regulate Marijuana                                                               
Like Alcohol in Alaska, stated opposition  to proposed HB 59.  He                                                               
pointed  out  that Ballot  Measure  2  had  been approved  by  53                                                               
percent of  Alaska voters  on November  3, and  would effectively                                                               
replace the unregulated, underground  market for marijuana with a                                                               
regulated system  of tax  paying businesses.   He noted  that the                                                               
legislature's ability  to modify  this initiative  was restricted                                                               
for  two years,  and  he expressed  confidence  in the  Alcoholic                                                               
Beverage  Control  Board for  undertaking  a  mandate to  provide                                                               
regulations under  the timelines required by  the ballot measure.                                                               
He stated that  delay of any implementation  would contradict the                                                               
will  of the  voters, declaring  that concentrates  were included                                                               
under the  definition of marijuana  in Ballot Measure 2,  and the                                                               
manufacture, sales,  and possession  of these products  should be                                                               
treated  with parity  to marijuana  flower products.   He  stated                                                               
that the  campaign maintained  the position  that proposed  HB 59                                                               
was  unconstitutional   as  currently   drafted.     He  directed                                                               
attention  to  the handout  titled  "Specific  Concerns With  the                                                               
Current Version of HB 59" [Included in members' packets].                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:38:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RACHELLE  YEUNG, Legislative  Analyst, Marijuana  Policy Project,                                                               
directed attention to the handout  titled "Specific Concerns With                                                               
the Current Version of HB  59" [Included in members' packets] and                                                               
stated  that it  was substantively  quite similar  to an  earlier                                                               
memo.   She emphasized  that the campaign  wanted to  clarify its                                                               
concerns for the  intent and the effect of HB  59, as it appeared                                                               
the intent  was not  aligned with  the will of  the voters.   She                                                               
offered  the campaign's  belief that  the proposed  bill was  not                                                               
constitutional in its intent.   She stated that concentrates were                                                               
included under the  definition of marijuana in  Ballot Measure 2,                                                               
and,  as it  was not  distinguished from  the marijuana  plant or                                                               
flower, the mandate to the  legislature was to not interfere with                                                               
or  alter  the  timeline  for  implementation  of  the  marijuana                                                               
regulations.   She declared that  neither the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  nor these  amendments  had altered  the concerns  and                                                               
that the  bill remained inconsistent  with the  initiative passed                                                               
by  the  voters.   She  offered  support  for discussion  to  the                                                               
concerns  of potential  dangers with  production of  concentrates                                                               
and to address  the concerns in a constitutional  manner that was                                                               
consistent with Ballot Measure 2.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:42:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:43:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked for an opinion  on the provision of  the bill                                                               
which separated  the combining  of nicotine  with marijuana.   He                                                               
opined that  this was the mixing  of an addictive product  with a                                                               
product  that may  have psychological  dependence and  questioned                                                               
whether a prohibition should be implemented.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON KULAS,  Program Manager, Tobacco Prevention  and Control,                                                               
Division  of  Public  Health, Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services,  stated that  the division  had not  taken an  official                                                               
position, and, although they were  tracking the science, they had                                                               
not come  across anything discussing the  combination of nicotine                                                               
or tobacco or alcohol with marijuana.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:44:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  asked about  the combination  of cannabis                                                               
and alcohol.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KULAS replied  that,  although there  was  not any  specific                                                               
science  for the  combination of  the two,  it would  most likely                                                               
result in  greater impairment, and  that there was a  concern for                                                               
the addictive properties of marijuana.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  asked if Department of  Health and Social                                                               
Services had a position on the proposed bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KULAS  replied that the  department did not have  a position,                                                               
at this point.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:45:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked  if there was anyone  who could provide                                                               
a response regarding the combination aspect.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KULAS  explained that the  evidence was being  considered and                                                               
the department was following the  lead of Colorado, as that state                                                               
had done an extensive literature review for marijuana addiction.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:46:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON reported  that the  proposed bill  was designed  to                                                               
address  a developing  industry.   He shared  that the  ABC Board                                                               
anticipated successful  completion of the regulations.   They had                                                               
requested additional staff, although  given the current financial                                                               
situation, authorization  was not  ensured.   The purpose  of the                                                               
proposed  bill was  to ensure  full  regulations on  cultivation,                                                               
processing, and  retail sales by  the industry.  If  necessary, a                                                               
delay  could  be  placed  on  the manufacture  and  sale  of  new                                                               
products.   He pointed out that  the delay would be  based on the                                                               
implementation  of recommendations  by  the board  and could  not                                                               
exceed the projected timeframe.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:48:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL disclosed  that he  was currently  a license                                                               
holder under  AS 04.  He  mused that these restrictions,  as they                                                               
were  not in  the  last  version of  the  bill, prompted  further                                                               
questioning.   He shared that  the ABC Board  representatives had                                                               
stated they  were prepared to write  regulations and restrictions                                                               
on marijuana use based on  their experiences with the control and                                                               
regulation for the use of alcohol.   He noted that members of the                                                               
licensing  world  also  declared  a readiness  for  these  issues                                                               
regarding systems of control and regulations.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:49:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL   asked  about  the  ABC   Board's  position                                                               
regarding the  restriction of  license holders  under AS  04 with                                                               
relationship to the potential sale of marijuana.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CYNTHIA  FRANKLIN,  Director,  Alcoholic Beverage  Control  (ABC)                                                               
Board,  in  response, explained  that  most  of the  restrictions                                                               
related to  alcohol were  centered on  a premises  based approach                                                               
with control of the area  of sales, manufacture, or delivery, and                                                               
there were  not any restrictions  on other businesses  by alcohol                                                               
licensees.    She stated  that  the  application to  qualify  for                                                               
liquor  licenses was  "a fairly  straightforward  process."   She                                                               
offered her  hope that  the regulations  for the  application and                                                               
licensing process  for obtaining a marijuana  based license would                                                               
be left  to the ABC  Board or  a newly created  marijuana control                                                               
board.  She opined that it  was difficult for the legislature "to                                                               
find  your  spot in  this  voter  initiative" and  she  expressed                                                               
appreciation  for the  effort to  allow for  additional time,  as                                                               
well  as concern  for the  constitutionality  requirements.   She                                                               
stated  that  the specifications  for  who  may  or may  not  get                                                               
marijuana  business licenses  begs  the need  for the  regulatory                                                               
agency to develop  the regulations with an  extended public input                                                               
period.      She   acknowledged  the   earlier   statements   for                                                               
consideration that  changes may occur as  the industry progresses                                                               
and  those  details  would  need   to  be  addressed  during  the                                                               
regulatory process, as statutes were  much harder to change.  She                                                               
opined that a prohibition for  certain people to obtain marijuana                                                               
licenses "might be risky business."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:53:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  clarified that the  proposed bill had  been amended                                                               
to  address   establishments  and   not  persons,  and   that  it                                                               
prohibited  the  sale  of  both   alcohol  and  marijuana  in  an                                                               
establishment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FRANKLIN  acknowledged  the   amendment,  although  she  had                                                               
understood the  question to  be for  the simultaneous  holding of                                                               
licenses.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:54:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:55:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON stated that HB 59 would be held over.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DPA Program Descriptions - All with regs and budget.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
Heating Assistance Program 02.05.2015 Fact Sheet.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
ATAP Fact Sheet 020915.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
WIC FNP Fact Sheet.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
TANF - WS NFAP Fact Sheet.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
Tribal TANF Fact Sheet 2.05.2015.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
SBP Fact Sheet (02-03-15).pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
Division of Public Assistance Presentation_2.25.2015.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
Presentations by DHSS
HB 59 Version S_proposed CS.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB 59 Sectional Analysis_Version S.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB 59 Explanation of changes_ver P to S.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB 59_Legal Opinion_Does HB 59 require additional licenses.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB 59 Ver S proposed amendment 1.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB 59 Ver S Proposed Amendment 2.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
HB 59
HB 59 S_letter of opposition_MPP.pdf HHSS 2/26/2015 3:00:00 PM
HB 59