Colorado lawmakers taking second crack at bill that would allow publicly traded marijuana companies

Joe Rubino
The Denver Post
Cannabis sales in Colorado have now reached a total of $7.79 billion in the 6 years since legalization.
AP Photo

A bill that opens the door for out-of-state investors and private equity firms to wade into Colorado’s heavily regulated marijuana business waters passed its first lawmaking hurdle Monday.

The Colorado House Finance Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1090, titled “Publicly Traded Marijuana Companies” with a handful of amendments, referring it to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The law would repeal a restriction limiting out-of-state owners with a stake in a local marijuana businesses to 15 individuals (a term that can include corporations), would do away with the requirement that all “passive” owners of marijuana businesses who do not make decisions about the businesses go through initial background checks and allow publicly traded entities to hold marijuana licenses in the state.

It is a beefed-up version of a law that passed through the Colorado Capitol in 2018 only to be vetoed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in June, after the state’s legislative session had ended. This time, sponsors have the full support of freshly minted Gov. Jared Polis.

“This year, when we introduced a similar bill we got engagement from the executive branch we hadn’t seen before,” Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, one of the bill’s co-sponsors said during testimony Monday. “The governor himself came to us and said, ‘I like what you’re doing but let’s do it a little bit more.’ ”

Read the full story via The Denver Post.

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