Rory Savatgy

Alaska’s Plan for Marijuana Handler Permits Would Shut Out Host of Applicants

New proposed permit requirements for potential cannabis industry workers in Alaska are so onerous that they are “unreasonable impracticable,” with one industry hopeful saying they limit employment opportunities “without any tangible benefit to the state or city,” the Peninsula Clarion reports.

The proposal would force employees to pass a training course to obtain a marijuana handler’s permit, for which the requirements would be the strictest in the nation and inconsistent with similar permits required for people employed in the alcohol industry.

Under the plan, individuals would not be eligible for a marijuana handler’s card if they have been convicted of a felony or of selling alcohol without a license over the last five years, or have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime that included “violence, weapons, or dishonesty” or a controlled substance conviction other than a Schedule VI violation.

Steve Cehula, one of the industry hopefuls, called the occupational licensing proposal “incongruent with the voice of the people and unfair” and that the plan would disqualify cannabis workers for something that doesn’t preclude them from working in the tobacco or alcohol industries.

The alcohol industry equivalent in the state, Training for Alcohol Professionals, has no criminal restrictions at all. Kristen Myles, vice-president of operations for the Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retail Association, said the proposal “doesn’t make any sense.”

“It’s hard enough to find good employees for any business,” she said in the report.

So far, there have been over 300 licenses issued to canna-businesses in the state but it’s not yet clear how many employment opportunities that will lead to.

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