New Cannabis Board Member Might Change the Scenario in Alaska

Alaskan cannabis growers and retailers are getting more and more anxious about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s future plans for the industry, followed by his recent picks for the Marijuana Control Board (MCB) members.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, the governor has not been very vocal about his policies but his decision to appoint Vivian Stiver as a regulatory board member has caused quite a stir in the state.

Stiver is well-known in Alaska for her support in the unsuccessful effort to ban cannabis operations in Fairbanks in 2017. She has recently been elected to replace Brandon Emmett, much to the disappointment of cannabis supporters who have been persistently urging the lawmakers to decline Stiver’s appointment. “It’s concerning, incredibly disappointing and hurtful because a lot of us supported Dunleavy,” said attorney Jana Weltzin. Democratic state Rep. Adam Wool’s remark has been that Stiver’s appointment is an “antagonistic move that’s setting up for a fight.”

Stiver’s response to all this has been that she is “absolutely not” a prohibitionist of cannabis. She said that she supported the ban proposed in 2017 because she believed that Fairbanks officials were not prepared to operate a legal cannabis industry. She assured that her views have changed over the years. “It’s a new industry; I’m excited. As far as I can see, it’s working,” Stiver said.

Stiver responded to the governor’s cannabis policies by saying, “To my best recollection, I haven’t had anything near a conversation where he stands on this,” The governor has been quiet regarding his stand on cannabis and has not yet made any major announcements. “The governor doesn’t want to pick winners and losers,” said Matt Shuckerow, Dunleavy’s press secretary. “He even said on the campaign trail that he doesn’t intend to make changes.” Stiver’s term on the state board is scheduled to begin in March.

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