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Colorado’s Cannabis Industry May Soon Be Publicly Tradeable

A Colorado bill that would allow for publicly-traded cannabis companies and lower the bar for passive ownership of those companies has cleared its first legislative hurdle and seems likely to become law.

Full story after the jump.

A bill has been advanced out of the Colorado House Finance Committee that, if signed into law, would allow for publicly traded cannabis companies in the state, according to The Denver Post.

The House Finance Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1090 for advancement to the next committee, the Appropriations Committee. The bill, titled “Publicly Traded Marijuana Companies,” is nearly identical to a bill that was passed by both houses of the Colorado state Congress last year but was ultimately vetoed by former Gov. John Hickenlooper.

This year’s bill, however, is supported by newly-elected Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, indicating that it is likely to become law.

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

Bill 1090 would remove the limit of 15 out-of-state individual owners (an individual may also be a corporation) per cannabis company and remove background check requirements for equity holders who do not make decisions, known as “passive” owners or investors. It would also raise the maximum ownership stake for a passive owner from just 5 percent in the previous legislation to 10 percent — in other words, any entity owning 10 percent or less of a cannabis company would qualify for passive ownership status and would not have to undergo a background check.

Advocates of the bill hope it will renew investor interest in the Colorado cannabis industry, which has lost much of its original investment appeal to states with more liberal legalization laws, or countries like Canada that have total federal legalization.


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