Colorado used to be on top of the cannabis world. As legalization spreads both in the U.S. and abroad, a lack of investor capital here could be the industry’s undoing.
“Now we are chasing the wagon,” said Dean Heizer, the executive director and chief legal strategist of LivWell. “And we need to get back on the wagon, and we need to get enough capital so that we can actually start driving the wagon again. We are falling behind.”
Colorado law doesn’t allow public investment in marijuana. States like California and Florida do, so cannabis companies there can issue stock to fund massive expansions. In Canada, the business press breathlessly covers marijuana as they would any other industry on the stock exchange.
There’s an effort afoot in Colorado to level the playing field. A bill under consideration by state lawmakers, HB 19-1090, would repeal the prohibition against publicly traded companies to hold a marijuana license. The bill’s first hearing in front of lawmakers is Monday.
For now, Heizer said companies like his — LivWell is probably the state’s largest marijuana retailer — have to rely mostly on in-state private money. [Read more at Colorado Public Radio]