Regulating Legal Marijuana: Planning Lessons from Year 1

APA Alaska Chapter


Monday, November 16, 2015
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. AKST

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This session will be a moderated panel discussion with representatives from three local governments (Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau) discussing the experience of developing and implementing regulations after the passage of Ballot Measure 2 in Alaska, legalizing production, production, sale, use and taxation use of marijuana.

The state is required to develop regulations to implement the new marijuana laws, AS 17.38, by November 24, 2015. At the same time as the state has worked to produce regulations, local governments have been working on their own systems including: zoning and land use restrictions on future businesses; licensing and application for new businesses; and taxation of products sold in their jurisdiction; and in some communities, possible restriction through a local option. Planners have been considering innovative approaches to the issue, such as the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s process of engaging the public, integrating into existing land use regulations, a "sensitive receptor" zoning approach, and GIS analysis of potentially developable land. The session will feature case studies from three jurisdictions that have unique local contexts and shared challenges.

With all the policy discussions occurring across the state, it is critical for those engaged in this work to share ideas, lessons learned and evaluate the efficacy over time of these new regulations. This panel provides examples of local governments’ experiences over the past year, as well as an opportunity for those in the audience to share their own community’s experience if they have been involved in regulatory work. Although the time is not sufficient to cover all issues related to regulation of legal marijuana, attendees will hopefully leave with a better and broader understanding of the work happening across the state.



Anna Brawley, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Anna is a senior associate at Agnew::Beck Consulting, based in Anchorage, Alaska. Working on a wide variety of projects in the fields of planning, public health, organizational development and regulatory policy, she specializes in research and data analysis, capacity building within organizations and coalitions, and communication of complex ideas ... Read More

Kellen Spillman, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Kellen Spillman is currently the Deputy Director of Community Planning at the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB). Kellen has been a planner in the Fairbanks area for 7 years, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and holds a master’s degree in City and Metropolitan ... Read More

Diana Nelson, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Diana Christine Nelson has been the Director of the Community Planning Department for the Fairbanks North Star Borough since 2014. Christine has been visiting Alaska regularly since 1974 and also worked 2 years as the Planning Director for the Matanuska Susitna Borough. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology ... Read More