Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/20/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 6(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSSB 55(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
               SB   6-INDUSTRIAL HEMP PRODUCTION                                                                            
1:38:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration of SB 6 and solicited                                                                 
a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS).                                                                       
1:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO moved to adopt the work draft CS for SB 6,                                                                     
version 30-LS0173\M, as the working document.                                                                                   
1:39:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL objected for an explanation of the changes.                                                                       
1:39:29 PM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN SHILLING, Staff, Senator John Coghill, reviewed the                                                                      
following changes between version I and version M of SB 6:                                                                      
     Page 1, Lines 8 & 9:                                                                                                     
     Intent language  added in section  one of the  bill. The                                                                   
     intention  is  for  the legislature  to  reevaluate  the                                                                   
     regulation of industrial hemp in seven years.                                                                              
     The  sunset  dates on  the  previous version  have  been                                                                   
     removed with the addition of this section.                                                                                 
     Page 5, lines 24 & 25:                                                                                                   
     CBD  [Cannabidiol]   oils  are   not  included   in  the                                                                   
     definitions   of  hashish   or  hashish   oil  in   this                                                                   
     Page 6, lines 9-14:                                                                                                      
     Language added  to allowing the display  of registration                                                                   
     on  a  mobile  electronic  device  as a  valid  form  of                                                                   
     registration  for  transportation   of  industrial  hemp                                                                   
     under   this   section.  Also,   displaying   proof   of                                                                   
     registration  on a  mobile  electronic  device does  not                                                                   
     constitute  consent  for  a peace  officer's  access  to                                                                   
     other contents on the device.                                                                                              
     Page 7, lines 17-30:                                                                                                     
     Requires the Department of Natural Resources to submit                                                                     
     a report by December 1, [each year until 2024] on the                                                                      
     regulation of industrial hemp in the state.                                                                                
MR.  SHILLING advised  that  the annual  report  must include  the                                                              
following  information:  the  total   number  of  registered  hemp                                                              
producers;  the  number  of violations  that  have  occurred;  the                                                              
number  of stop  orders issued;  the  total amount  of hemp  grown                                                              
each year;  and a  summary of  the economic  effects of  the pilot                                                              
CHAIR  COGHILL  commented  that   the  hope  is  to  increase  the                                                              
economic benefit.                                                                                                               
1:43:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI noted  the  prohibition  against using  hemp                                                              
for hashish  and read the definition  of hashish in  AS 11.71.900,                                                              
which says it  is "the dried, compressed, resinous  product of the                                                              
plant." He  asked if  that means  that you  can't dry or  compress                                                              
1:44:03 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
1:44:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL reconvened the meeting.                                                                                           
MR. SHILLING  said he  doesn't believe  it would preclude  someone                                                              
from  drying hemp.  For a  product to  be defined  as hashish,  it                                                              
would  have to  be  dried, compressed,  and  most importantly  the                                                              
resinous part of  the plant. He suggested that  Sara Chambers with                                                              
the  Alcohol and  Marijuana Control  Board probably  has a  better                                                              
understanding of the implications of using that definition.                                                                     
1:45:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA  CHAMBERS, Acting  Director,  Alcohol  and Marijuana  Control                                                              
Board,   Department   of   Commerce,    Community   and   Economic                                                              
Development (DCCED),  deferred the  question to the  Department of                                                              
1:46:53 PM                                                                                                                    
KACI  SCHROEDER, Assistant  Attorney  General, Criminal  Division,                                                              
Department  of Law (DOL),  concurred with  Mr. Shilling's  reading                                                              
of the  definition. To  be considered  hashish, the product  would                                                              
have to have  to be the dried,  compressed, and the  resinous part                                                              
of the  plant. "I don't  think that  in itself prohibits  somebody                                                              
from drying hemp."                                                                                                              
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  for confirmation  that adopting  that                                                              
definition wouldn't inhibit the uses mentioned in the testimony.                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL offered  his  understanding  that  the plant  under                                                              
this definition is a marijuana plant.                                                                                           
MS. SCHROEDER said that's correct.                                                                                              
CHAIR  COGHILL  added that  this  excludes  one section  so  there                                                              
isn't any confusion between marijuana and hemp.                                                                                 
MS.  SCHROEDER  confirmed  that  under the  provisions  of  SB  6,                                                              
marijuana is not hemp.                                                                                                          
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if it's Cannabis.                                                                                    
MS.  SCHROEDER  said she  didn't  know  if  there is  a  statutory                                                              
definition of Cannabis.                                                                                                         
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI read the definition in AS 11.71.900(10).                                                                   
      (10) "hashish" means the dried, compressed, resinous                                                                      
     product of the plant (genus) Cannabis;                                                                                     
He said  he wants the  record to be clear  so that nobody  will be                                                              
arrested  and sent  to jail  for  drying or  compressing hemp.  He                                                              
added that  his assumption is that  it would need to be  dried and                                                              
compressed for just about any purpose.                                                                                          
MS.  SCHROEDER  replied hashish  has  a  specific meaning  in  the                                                              
criminal code  and the  way it's made  is intended to  concentrate                                                              
THC  (Tetrahydrocannabinol) for  a psychoactive  effect. "I  don't                                                              
think that  we can get  there with just  making paper as  you have                                                              
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI   restated  that   the   bill  adopts   the                                                              
definition  of hashish from  the criminal  code, which  is defined                                                              
as "the dried,  compressed, resinous product of  the plant (genus)                                                              
Cannabis."  He said  his  reading is  that  drying or  compressing                                                              
hemp  potentially  violates  the  law. He  asked,  "You're  saying                                                              
otherwise as the representative of the Department of Law."                                                                      
MS.  SCHROEDER  said  she understands  that  reading  but  doesn't                                                              
believe that is  the intent. "If you think that there  needs to be                                                              
some clarifying  language then  we could  think about  doing that,                                                              
but  I don't  think anyone's  going  to be  prosecuted for  making                                                              
paper out of industrial hemp."                                                                                                  
1:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY offered  his perspective that hemp  isn't a resinous                                                              
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  reread  the definition  and said he  assumes                                                              
it means a dried and compressed and resinous product.                                                                           
SENATOR  KELLY said  it's  a fair  point;  the definition  doesn't                                                              
really apply because hemp doesn't have a resinous product.                                                                      
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  the sponsor  if hemp  is known  as the  same                                                              
thing as (genus) Cannabis.                                                                                                      
1:52:18 PM                                                                                                                    
BUDDY   WHITT,  Staff,   Senator  Shelly   Hughes,  Alaska   State                                                              
Legislature, sponsor  of SB 6, said his reading of  the statute is                                                              
that  Cannabis would  include hemp.  The  bill defines  industrial                                                              
hemp as Cannabis with 0.3 percent THC or less.                                                                                  
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  argued that  the  statute  the bill  adopts                                                              
says  industrial hemp  produced  under a  registration under  this                                                              
section  may not  be used  to produce  hashish  under the  meaning                                                              
given in AS 11.71.900. The definition in AS 11.71.900(10) says:                                                                
      (10) "hashish" means the dried, compressed, resinous                                                                      
     product of the plant (genus) Cannabis;                                                                                     
He asked  if it's possible to  have a dried,  compressed, resinous                                                              
product of hemp.                                                                                                                
MR. WHITT  answered yes.  The sponsor didn't  want to  exclude the                                                              
known  non-psychoactive  components that  are  used in  commercial                                                              
CBD oil  products. Once  CBD oil was  removed from the  definition                                                              
of hashish, the sponsor was satisfied.                                                                                          
1:55:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL opened public testimony on SB 6.                                                                                  
1:56:41 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANK  TURNEY,  representing himself,  Fairbanks,  Alaska,  voiced                                                              
support  for excluding  CBD  from the  definition  of hashish.  He                                                              
also  expressed hope  that  hemp  would not  be  regulated to  the                                                              
point that  it's a  barrier for farmers  and people  interested in                                                              
getting  involved in  the industry.  He said  he looks forward  to                                                              
the time when the  25,000 products that can be made  from hemp are                                                              
on the shelves and  not as imports. He commented  on the fact that                                                              
the  federal government  lists  industrial  hemp  as a  controlled                                                              
substance  and  voiced  support   for  Alaska  listing  it  as  an                                                              
agricultural  product.   He  raised  questions  about   who  would                                                              
participate in the  pilot project and talked about  the difficulty                                                              
of transporting hemp seed across state lines.                                                                                   
2:00:43 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY HILLSTRAND,  Coal Point  Seafoods, Kachemak, Alaska,  stated                                                              
support  for SB  6. She  uses a  lot  of corrugated  paper at  her                                                              
seafood  plant   and  looks   forward  to  the   day  it   can  be                                                              
manufactured  in  Alaska  from industrial  hemp.  She  listed  the                                                              
benefits of  industrial hemp: it  is fast growing,  improves soil,                                                              
is naturally resistant  to pests, is carbon negative,  is 10 times                                                              
stronger than cotton,  the seeds are high in omega-3s,  and it's a                                                              
complete protein.  Alaska will benefit from passage  of this bill,                                                              
she said.                                                                                                                       
2:02:23 PM                                                                                                                    
EMBER HAYNES,  representing herself, Talkeetna,  Alaska, expressed                                                              
appreciation that the  current version of SB 6  removes the sunset                                                              
clause. She  clarified that hemp  is of the genus  Cannabis Sativa                                                              
L. and  that there  are Cannabis  plants that  are grown  for high                                                              
resin CBD  and used to counter  the effects of seizures  and pain.                                                              
It  is  different than  the  CBD  that  is  found in  health  food                                                              
stores.  The latter  is made from  the entire  hemp plant  whereas                                                              
the  high resin  CBD  is made  from the  flowers  of the  Cannabis                                                              
plant.  She asked  for assurance  that  the language  in the  bill                                                              
wouldn't  cause  questions  regarding  hemp seeds  that  are  non-                                                              
viable,  and expressed  hope that  the pilot  program would  allow                                                              
people  with  small acreage  to  grow  industrial hemp  for  their                                                              
livestock and personal use.                                                                                                     
2:05:53 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE ALBERS,  representing himself, said  he serves on  the board                                                              
of  the  Kenai  Soil  &  Water  Conservation  District  but  isn't                                                              
speaking for  the board. He  opined that allowing  hemp production                                                              
as an  agricultural product  will benefit  the state in  countless                                                              
ways. He  mentioned remediation  for the  oil industry  and forage                                                              
for  livestock.  It has  the  potential  to be  a  self-sustaining                                                              
industry  that  will  benefit  other   industries  throughout  the                                                              
state. He opined  that the Division of Agriculture  is best suited                                                              
to provide  regulation and he  doesn't anticipate  that violations                                                              
will be a problem.  He is pleased there is such  open transparency                                                              
about the  product. It is  an industry  that has the  potential to                                                              
be beneficial as soon as the plants are in the ground.                                                                          
2:09:15 PM                                                                                                                    
JACK  BENNETT,  Industrial  Hemp  Manufacturing,  LLC,  Anchorage,                                                              
Alaska,  testified  in support  of  SB 6.  He  said  this LLC  has                                                              
enough equipment  to process 40 million pounds  of industrial hemp                                                              
annually.  He   mentioned  doing   business  with  oil   companies                                                              
worldwide,  a 7-year  contract to  sell hemp  for oil  reclamation                                                              
technology,  and  selling  fiber  to the  automotive  industry  to                                                              
illustrate  the versatility  of  industrial hemp.  He opined  that                                                              
industrial  hemp will revitalize  the farming  industry in  Alaska                                                              
and  voiced support  for  the Division  of  Agriculture being  the                                                              
regulating agency.  He advised that there are  grants available to                                                              
fund manufacturing of industrial hemp products.                                                                                 
2:12:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL closed public testimony on SB 6.                                                                                  
SENATOR COSTELLO  directed attention  to the  language on  page 7,                                                              
line 18;  it mandates a  written report  to the legislature  on an                                                              
annual basis.  She suggested  either striking  the word  "written"                                                              
or specifying the report be in electronic format.                                                                               
CHAIR  COGHILL  stated  his  preference  not  to  amend  the  bill                                                              
because it would slow its progress.                                                                                             
SENATOR  COSTELLO   said  the  sponsor   heard  her   comment  and                                                              
2:16:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  moved to report the  CS for SB 6  from committee                                                              
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                    
2:16:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  found no objection  and announced that  CSSB 6(JUD)                                                              
is reported from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CS for SB 6 - Version M.pdf SJUD 3/20/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 6
CS for SB 55 - Version N.pdf SJUD 3/20/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB 6 - Explanation of Changes (I to M).pdf SJUD 3/20/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 6
SB 6 - Fiscal Note (DNR).pdf SJUD 3/20/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 6
SB 6 - Sectional Analysis (ver. M).pdf SJUD 3/20/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 6
SB 55 - Summary of Changes (ver. D to ver. N).pdf SJUD 3/20/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 55