Lawmakers advance bill to allow unincorporated communities to elect to ban pot businesses

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) Alaska House and Senate negotiators have advanced legislation that would give unincorporated communities the ability to hold elections to decide whether to prohibit legal marijuana businesses.

Unincorporated communities outside of organized boroughs also would be able to hold elections to reverse any prohibitions they might enact under the bill that advanced Monday.

The bill would impose a statewide household limit of 12 marijuana plants.

Current law allows local governments to bar pot businesses through voter initiative or ordinance but doesn't address so-called established villages.

A disagreement over how to treat unincorporated areas tied up the bill, with the Senate version proposing to bar marijuana businesses in those areas unless they opted in. Critics said that flew in the face of the voter initiative legalizing recreational pot.

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