The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has scheduled a public hearing and second vote for Monday on an ordinance that would amend the borough’s pot regulations, including restrictions on transporting marijuana.
Those restrictions require marijuana business permit applications to provide a plan for how such a business will get its product tested for potency and potential contaminants. That plan cannot rely on “shipping samples by mail or common carrier unless such transportation is permitted under federal law.”
A common carrier is defined in the borough ordinance as a form of transportation required to take any passengers or freight, as long as the fare has been paid.
Marijuana remains illegal nationally, which means taking or sending pot via federally regulated services, such as the U.S. Post Office, commercial airlines and public ferries would violate federal law.
But, according to a memo from the borough manager’s office, there’s a loophole. The restrictions don’t apply to a private citizen taking pot somewhere as a passenger on a common carrier, because then the common carrier would be unaware of transporting samples and would not be liable.
The proposed restrictions also don’t apply to non-common-carrier transportation methods, such as a private boat or plane.
Monday’s Assembly meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting, and during the public hearing.