Marijuana legalization supporters talk to reporters on Nov. 5, 2014 the day after voters made Alaska the fourth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Now Alaska's Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office is seeking additional licensing examiners to help with marijuana regulation. (Ted S. Warren, The Associated Press)

Help wanted: Alaska marijuana regulation office seeks assist with workload

JUNEAU, Alaska — A top state marijuana regulator says her office needs more staff to handle its workload.

Sara Chambers, the acting director of Alaska’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, told a House budget panel Tuesday that her office is seeking two additional licensing examiners to help with marijuana regulation.

The office’s budget request also seeks an administrative assistant.

Duties for licensing legal marijuana operations were given to the office in 2015. Chambers says that added hundreds of complex license applications to the workload of office examiners.

The office began accepting applications for cannabis businesses a year ago, with the first licenses issued last summer.

At times, the office has struggled to juggle work for both alcohol and marijuana industries, especially during a busy period when liquor license renewals came in.