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Ken Lund

Colorado’s Legislature has passed a measure permitting out-of-state individuals to own and operate marijuana companies in the state; a move the Cannabis Business Alliance says will help the cannabis industry expand and remain competitive.

This change, which still needs to be signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), effectively opens the door for interested parties living outside of the state — and perhaps outside of the country — to enter Colorado’s booming recreational marijuana industry. Legal cannabis has already raked in about $270 million this year, according to a Denver Post report.

“Now that Colorado has led the way and gained effective control and transparency of cannabis businesses and the industry, we must remain competitive with emerging state markets like Nevada, Oregon, and even Texas, which have municipalities that will all allow outside money to be vetted and injected into their respective cannabis industries,” Don Slaugh, executive director of the CBA said in a release. “The State of Colorado must be able to expand on the success of our $1 billion industry as we continue to grow, consolidate and position ourselves for expansion into other markets both nationally and internationally.”

The bill allows for non-Colorado residents to own stake in marijuana ventures so long as at least one company officer has been a resident for one year. The company can have no more than 15 “direct beneficial interest owners” from out-of-state, according to the bill text. Additionally, “indirect benefit interest owners” can own up to 30 percent of a company if they are considered “qualified institutional investors” by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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