Marijuana Board to discuss fate of dual director canned by Alcohol Control Board - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, December 7, 2019
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Marijuana Board to discuss fate of dual director canned by Alcohol Control Board

WILL ERIKA MCCONNELL BE RETAINED?

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board meets today through Friday in Anchorage. Among topics to be discussed is the fate of the director, who has lost the support of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, which voted 5-0 to fire her at its last meeting over issues related to competency and “character.”

Erika McConnell reports to both the Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Marijuana Control Board. She was hired in February of 2017 after working in Anchorage’s municipal planning department for more than 10 years.

[Read: Alcohol Beverage Control Board votes to oust director]

Although it is undeniable the alcohol board wants her gone, the marijuana board could dig its heels in and keep her, setting up an awkward and possibly unproductive work environment. Both boards would have to fire her under the current work configuration.

McConnell has lawyered up. The matter will most certainly be handled in executive session and it is on the first day of the meeting’s agenda, although that could change.

Other items on the agenda include:

Accusation of unpaid taxes against: 

Rainforest Farms, Retail Marijuana Store, 216 2nd Street, Juneau, AK
Parallel 64, Marijuana Cultivation Facility, 2128 N Post Road, Anchorage, AK
Raspberry Roots, Marijuana Retail Store, 501 Raspberry Road, Suite 101, Anchorage, AK

Revocation of marijuana handler permit of Quincy James Iyatunguk.

In October, Iyatunguk was charged with trying to bring heroin from Anchorage to Nome, concealed internally in his body cavity.

Alaska State Troopers stopped him at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Oct. 29 as he was boarding a flight to Nome. They found he had 8.8 grams of heroin tucked inside him. In Nome, the street value was more than $10,000.

“The contact was a result of ongoing investigations into the trafficking and distribution of narcotics in the Nome region by the Nome Office of the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team (WAANT),” Troopers wrote.

Iyatunguk is charged with second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. He was held, and then released under supervision as he awaits trial.

The Marijuana Control Board agenda is linked here.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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