Published: Feb 28, 2018, 2:57 pm • Updated: Feb 28, 2018, 3:53 pm
Residency requirements for Colorado marijuana businesses could soon be old hat.
A bill advancing through the Colorado legislature would open the doors for out-of-state individuals and publicly traded companies to invest or have ownership interest in state-licensed cannabis businesses.
House Bill 1011, “Marijuana Businesses Allow Publicly Traded Owners,” on Wednesday passed the House Finance Committee on a vote of 8 to 5.
Bill co-sponsors and proponents earlier in the week touted the proposed law change as a necessary means for Colorado’s cannabis businesses to remain competitive. Colorado may have been a trailblazer in regulating adult-use cannabis sales, but its homegrown businesses are being left in the dust as the industry goes global.
“We’re at a point where we’re actually behind the curve,” said Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, Wednesday, when addressing the Finance Committee.
More than a dozen medical and recreational cannabis states have allowed for out-of-state investors or publicly traded companies and, as such, are seeing more investment capital flow to their industries, said Pabon, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, R-Highlands Ranch, Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, and Sen. Cheri Jahn, U-Wheat Ridge.
The bill expands on a 2016 law that allowed limited out-of-state investment in Colorado’s cannabis industry.
The new bill repeals provisions that limit out-of-state ownership to 15 individuals as well as the provisions that prohibited publicly traded entities from holding a marijuana license. This would allow for both increased investment from existing public companies as well as opening the doors for local licensed businesses to become publicly traded, Pabon said.
Andy Williams, a Colorado cannabis entrepreneur, spoke in favor of the bill during the public comments phase on Monday evening.
“I do see