House Bill 1011, “Marijuana Businesses Allow Publicly Traded Owners,” on Wednesday passed the House Finance Committee on a vote of 8 to 5. The bill, if passed into law, would open the doors for out-of-state individuals and publicly traded companies to invest or have ownership interest in state-licensed cannabis businesses.
Colorado may have been a trailblazer in regulating adult-use cannabis sales, but many of its homegrown businesses feel they are being left in the dust as the industry goes global. 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. 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. Proponents hope the bill will open the door to increased investment from existing public companies as well as granting local licensed businesses the chance to become publicly traded and, thus, raise new capital.
However, not all of Colorado’s cannabis businesses are necessarily on board with the move. Opponents believe that a material change in the state’s regulations may increase the risk of federal scrutiny as well as the risk of “bad actors” entering the market. The bill now heads to the House Appropriations committee and would subsequently need to garner a passing vote in both the House and Senate before going to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Stay tuned to Cash Crop Today for information on any further developments.