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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – The Alaska Marijuana Control Board approved emergency changes Friday to allow for curbside pickup of marijuana orders as well as a loosening of transportation rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The emergency regulatory changes must first be approved by the governor’s office, and won’t be enacted until Lt. Governor Kevin Meyer signs off.

During a special meeting Friday, the Marijuana Control Board voted 3-2 in favor of allowing curbside pickup, and 4-1 in favor of changing regulations related to transportation.

If approved, the regulations stay in place for 120 days, and can also be voided before the period ends if conditions permit.

Alaska marijuana industry advocates argued that the regulations will reduce person-to-person contact in the course of retail marijuana sales.

“I think they heard us when we asked them to explore mechanisms to keep our staff safe and our customers safe,” said Lacy Wilcox, the president of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association. “Not every business is going to do this, but it allows them to explore that option with some pretty significant sideboards and expectations of good behavior.”

Retail shops will have to continue verifying that customers are of legal age, and will be required to have video surveillance equipment covering the pickup area. Stores will also have to submit plans describing a delivery option.

If approved, Marijuana Control Board Chair Loren Jones told KTUU he felt that the program will have a slow roll out, similar to the recent decision by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board allowing curbside and home delivery of alcoholic beverages.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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