Pubdate: Wed, 31 Dec 2014
Source: Alaska Dispatch News (AK)
Copyright: 2014 Alaska Dispatch Publishing
Note: Anchorage Daily News until July '14
Author: Suzanna Caldwell


Marijuana may be the reason former U.S. senator and onetime 
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel next returns to Alaska.

Cannabis Sativa Inc. says Gravel will head KUSH, a company that will 
work to develop and market "innovative new cannabis products" for 
recreational and medical marijuana markets in the U.S.

The company uses a business model of developing marijuana products, 
then connecting with local cannabis producers at the state level to 
produce and sell the product. According to a press release, the 
company is currently looking to develop a marijuana lozenge called 
the "Kubby," named after Steve Kubby, chairman of the board for 
Cannabis Sativa Inc.

Gravel said in a phone interview Tuesday he has been an "aggressive 
board member" for Cannabis Sativa Inc., eventually leading to his 
current position as head of KUSH.

Gravel, 84, served as one of Alaska's two U.S. senators from 1969 to 
1981. In 2008, he sought the Democratic presidential nomination. He's 
been a critic of U.S. drug policy since the Nixon era.

Gravel said KUSH is looking to enter the Alaska market. He said he 
was "very much" pleased that Alaskans voted in November to pass 
Ballot Measure 2, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state.

The former senator, who now lives in Burlingame, California, said the 
company would work with local marijuana activists and longtime Alaska 
friends to watch how the marijuana laws are crafted. He said the 
company hopes to hire a local attorney to help guide them through the 
complicated legalities surrounding marijuana.

"We don't want to make any mistakes with the law in this regard," 
Gravel said. "It's new, and it's fraught with controversy."

He expects the process of getting product to Alaska will be similar 
to the process in Washington and Colorado, where they contract with a 
local producer who is licensed to sell the product. Still, with more 
than a year before people can even register to obtain a business 
license in Alaska under the language of the initiative, it will be a 
long while before KUSH operates in the state.

"We don't have to wait until the details of the law are in place," he 
said. "But we won't be able do anything until the law is final in Alaska."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom