Colorado gov rejects publicly traded companies investing in marijuana businesses

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is a successful businessperson-turned-politician known for his pro-business stance.

But the Democrat delivered a second blow to marijuana entrepreneurs Tuesday when he vetoed a bill that would have allowed publicly traded companies to invest in the state’s MJ industry.

The veto came just a day after he rejected legislation that would have made Colorado the first state to permit cannabis tasting rooms.

Hickenlooper wrote in the investment veto letter that allowing publicly traded companies to enter Colorado’s MJ market is “premature,” given the industry is illegal at the federal level and lacks proper banking services.

He also argued that such access to publicly traded markets historically has come with higher levels of fraudulent activities.

“We have significant concern about this broader access to capital markets, particularly as it relates to our responsibility to keep criminal enterprises out of the regulated marketplace,” he wrote.

Proponents have argued such legislation is needed to put Colorado on par with other key states in terms of attracting capital investment opportunities in what has become a mature, growing market.

Christian Sederberg, a Colorado cannabis attorney, recently told Marijuana Business Daily the legislation was “the culmination of several years of discussions” and included such safeguards as extensive criminal background checks and strict financial disclosure requirements for publicly traded companies.

Also Tuesday, Hickenlooper vetoed a bill that would have added autism spectrum disorder as a qualifying patient condition for receiving medical marijuana, arguing in part that the effect of MMJ on the condition hasn’t been fully studied.

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8 comments on “Colorado gov rejects publicly traded companies investing in marijuana businesses
  1. ian humphry on

    believe it or not, i actually agree, ” given the industry is illegal at the federal level and lacks proper banking services” also “He also argued that such access to publicly traded markets historically has come with higher levels of fraudulent activities”
    i do think at some point it will happen, but i agree at this present time. dont get me wrong, everyone likes cash influx and i am also an investor, this is a great market with great potential and still in its infancy, the industry is just learning to walk after crawling for so long, as son as it can walk, it can start to run.

  2. Rick on

    I understand his position but the industry didn’t grow as fast as it has because people waited for the industry to mature. Besides, there are MJ stocks listed on a variety of exchanges, a pretty good sign of impending maturity if not the full maturity we’ll see when Congress gets off its collective butts and legalizes it federally.

  3. Jimmie Mowery on

    Hickenloopers “reasons” for vetoing these bills are false. The industry does now have proper banking. There are many banks taking marijuana and CBD businesses now. Also, the research done on autism and cannabis is quite extensive, and very successful. This research can be found at the cannabis research database, Hickenlooper is obviously biased because he didn’t even research his claims.

  4. Nancy Mercanti on

    Gov Hickenlooper was mandatated to enact a constitutional amendment , namely 64. I worked with the task force the entire of 2013 and witnessed his objections first hand. He came from the micro brew world and was most likely a little concerned about what the effect would be on that industry. It has proven to be a huge advantage for the state and had little effect on other industries.
    He was never a fan and did the best he could in putting the task force together. I agree that the banking and schedule needs to be addressed, but I think he is on his way out as a lame duck Governor.
    Maybe he will have a voice federally. There has been talk.Still, he is not giving the State a chance to fully compete.

  5. tridhydro on

    Want to sell,tax,distrubute poison that kills thousands every year? Want to stay open til 2AM? Want to have direct access to capital, banking services, and investment without paying the “Premium”? Well then, start a brewery or distillery in Colorado…. Its easy, and the government is completely sanctioning more risk averse industries, while it penalizes a lower risk higher value non toxic plant… LOGIC wins every time, doesn’t it? Glad we have all those cannabis “Experts” around to tell us little people how its done, not sure what we would do without them, and their “Shell” companies

  6. Garret Chaffee on

    This is absolutely ridiculous, a huge mistake, and truly sad the Gov did this to his state. Colorado built and then proved the model of the cannabis industry for the rest of the world, and now we’re being left in the dust because companies can’t run their business like everyone else in a capitalistic society. I hope Hick get’s crushed for this one. He lost my vote for life, that’s for sure.

  7. Mark Steinmetz on

    Anyone with an IQ north of 50 knows the Governor’s comments are ridiculous. It appears that he is in bed with big Pharma and big alcohol; two of the biggest opponents of the cannabis industry


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