Senate accepts House changes to alcohol, marijuana bill

The Alaska Senate has reversed course, accepting House changes to an alcohol bill that added provisions related to the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.

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The bill, SB 165, also includes provisions requested by marijuana regulators allowing for national background checks for applicants for licenses for legal marijuana businesses.

The bill’s passage by the Senate Friday is significant, since lawmakers so far have been unable to agree on a marijuana bill containing the background check provisions. The marijuana legislation has been stuck over differences on provisions that would bar legal marijuana operations in unincorporated areas outside of organized boroughs but allow communities in those areas to hold local elections to allow for pot businesses.

Marijuana regulators have begun accepting business applications.

With the Senate’s actions Friday, the bill passes the Legislature.