Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) has appointed Eliza Muse, a state cannabis education program manager within the state Health Department, to the Marijuana Control Board’s Public Health seat, the Associated Press reports. Muse replaced longtime board member Loren Jones and the appointment is effective until the legislature looks at board appointments again, likely sometime next year, according to the AP.
Corey Allen Young, a spokesperson for the governor, said in an email to the AP that Muse “has been extensively involved in marijuana education and addressing public health challenges associated with legalization.”
As a new member, Muse described her role as “trying to ensure that we can find sort of a sweet spot as it pertains to ensuring that public health is preserved, safety is preserved, in this new space of a marijuana marketplace and just ensure that our regulations are always considerate of public health.” She added that she is not coming to the board “with any sort of preconceived notion or bias” and that, as an appointee she wants to use the most up to date research, which she says “to date has been lagging due to federal regulations and really lack of guidance at the federal level.” She says she wants to highlight “the fact that we do have limited science and research and data to make policy decisions off of.”
Lacy Wilcox, President of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, told the AP she does not know much about Muse, but “what I had hoped and what I continue to hope for is that the person in the public health seat comes to the table with some science and knowledge and an open mind so that they’re not just regurgitating anti-cannabis rhetoric.”
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