Colorado Loosens Guidelines on Investing in Cannabis Corporations



Colorado’s prohibition on publicly traded cannabis firms and limits on out-of-state investment had been officially lifted at the get started of this month, heralding a new era of development in the state’s market — and potentially 1 of additional corporate consolidation.

The alterations went into impact on Nov. 1, under emergency rules issued by the Colorado Division of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division in August. These had been drawn up to implement House Bill 19-1090, “Concerning Measures to Enable Higher Investment Flexibility in Marijuana Corporations,” which was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis on May well 29. 

This was the second shot at overturning the restrictions on out-of-state investment in the Colorado cannabis market. A comparable measure was amongst a handful of bills to loosen up Colorado’s cannabis sector that were vetoed final June by outgoing Gov. John Hickenlooper — like Polis a Democrat, but a far far more conservative 1. Polis’s victory that identical month was hailed by the cannabis community as a favorable sign.

HB 1090 passed the Property by a vote of 54-11 and in the Senate 27-7. All the “no” votes had been from Republicans. In addition to overturning the ban on publicly traded cannabis firms, it also lifts the 15-particular person limit on the quantity of out-of-state investors in any 1 such enterprise. In the interest of transparency, public disclosure of information and facts about investment is mandated by the law.

The restrictions had been 1st imposed right after Colorado legalized cannabis in 2012 to shield little organizations, amid issues about a flood of outdoors capital into the state’s burgeoning cannabis biz. Opinion is divided as to regardless of whether the state’s market has evolved to the point that such protectionist policies are no longer mandated. 

As the Denver Post stated when HB 1090 was passed in May well: “The modify in law is anticipated to bring new cannabis goods to Colorado from firms that have previously stayed away from the state. It could also accelerate consolidation, with substantial national chains getting Colorado’s smaller sized cannabis shops quicker than ever…” 

Colorado’s Cannabis Consolidation 

Some opposition to the bill of course came from cultural conservatives, such as Colorado Christian University, who had been worried about the spread of legal cannabis. Jeff Hunt, director of the university’s believe-tank, the Centennial Institute, told the Denver Post: “The marijuana market is rapidly becoming Large Tobacco two.. By permitting publicly traded firms to invest in marijuana, Colorado is making marijuana conglomerates with the sole objective of receiving as numerous people today making use of the drug as feasible. Comparable to tobacco, we will knowledge public wellness complications for a generation due to ‘big marijuana.’” 

But it definitely is not just such conservative and commonly cannabis-phobic voices that are wary of the corporate floodgates getting opened. As Denver’s Westword notes, “While some mom-and-pops had been waiting for the day when they could sell their brands and small business licenses to deep pockets, other folks viewed the move as a step toward corporate cannabis and consolidation.”

This consolidation is currently underway. More than the previous year, two of the Colorado’s biggest dispensary chains, LivWell and the Green Resolution, have every purchased up many independent dispensaries all through the state. Lova, a new privately held cannabis brand, has purchased five Denver-location dispensaries this year

In September, Solace Meds, a Front Variety dispensary chain, completed its invest in-out of a smaller sized Denver dispensary chain, Sticky Buds — which had basically been operating because 2009 (that is, 3 years ahead of common legalization) below Colorado’s healthcare marijuana plan.

Denver’s Medicine Man Technologies, a cannabis cultivator that started as a healthcare marijuana producer in 2009, is also going by way of a phase of explosive development. More than the previous year, it has agreed to acquire far more than 30 dispensaries all through the state — bargains that are to turn into official imminently. It is to obtain all 3 Denver-area Colorado Harvest Company dispensaries, five Starbuds outlets statewide, and the six mountain dispensaries of the Roots RX chain. It also has plans to obtain some 10 far more outlets by way of the acquire of southern Colorado chains Mesa Organics and Strawberry Fields, according to Medicine Man Technologies CEO Andy Williams.  

Westword also reports that on Nov. five, days right after the new law took impact, Green Resolution, 1 of Colorado’s greatest dispensary chains, announced that it has been bought by Columbia Care — a publicly-traded cannabis enterprise registered in Canada though headquartered in New York. 

Higher Ambitions at Medicine Man

Medicine Man Technologies is specifically taking benefit of the new regulatory atmosphere. It has operated up till now as a publicly traded consulting and technologies firm — covering these elements of the enterprise that do not basically touch the cannabis. The cultivation centers, study facilities and dispensaries have been operating below separate licenses, all privately held. Now, they are about to be consolidated below a single publicly-traded roof. 

Contacted by Cannabis Now, Medicine Man Technologies co-founder and CEO Williams exemplified the sense of ebullience amongst Colorado canna-organizations eager for expansion.

“The regulatory modify, as a outcome of HB 19-1090, will supply Medicine Man Technologies with the chance to unite the most profitable and revolutionary pioneers of the most mature industry in cannabis to turn into 1 of the biggest vertically integrated seed-to-sale operators in the worldwide cannabis market,” Williams stated.

Medicine Man Technologies’ intellectual house contains the Three A Light methodology for cannabis cultivation. Acquisition is also pending of MedPharm, a significant Denver improvement laboratory and cannabis processing facility with Fantastic Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification.

“The HB 19-1090 bill permits us to function on a series of lately announced pending acquisitions in Colorado,” Williams enthuses. “Upon closing, which we anticipate will happen in 2020, we will bring with each other 12 cultivation operations, seven solution manufacturing operations, 34 dispensaries like two presently below building, and planet-class R&ampD capabilities all below 1 parent enterprise. Our target is to be a worldwide leader in responsibly moving the cannabis market forward and the HB 19-1090 bill is the 1st step in attaining this in Colorado and beyond.”

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