Colorado has one of the nation’s strongest legal cannabis industries. At the same time, it’s an industry that is constantly evolving. Lawmakers, consumers, and business owners continue to push for various changes, many of which can create tensions and debates. That could very well be the case after publicly traded investments for Colorado weed were vetoed by Governor John Hickenlooper this week. Additionally, he also vetoed a couple other marijuana-related bills. Combined, these vetoes could create tension in the state.
Gov. Hickenlooper Vetos Investment Bill
House Bill 18-1011 was one of the main bills vetoed by Gov. Hickenlooper this week. It called for some potentially key changes on the investment front.
In particular, the bill would have made it legal for publicly traded companies to invest in Colorado weed businesses. Such companies would also have been able to get medical or recreational licenses.
Further, the bill would have loosened some restrictions on out-of-state cannabis business owners.
For many business-minded people in the state, the bill was a promising development. Many saw it as a way to boost investment capital flowing into the state’s cannabis industry.
In fact, the bill received bipartisan approval in May. After passing through early legislative rounds, the bill was eventually went to Hickenlooper for final approval.
“While recreational and medical marijuana are legal under Colorado law, however, federal law constraints continue to exist,” Gov. Hickenlooper wrote. “With such uncertainty, expansion of capital availability to this industry must be done methodically and incrementally.”
He added: “While we wish to encourage business opportunity, we must approach capital expansion in the market in a way that is consistent with our federal oversight, and not degrade the robust regulatory system that Colorado worked so hard to establish.”
Gov. Hickenlooper’s Other Marijuana Vetos
This wasn’t the only marijuana bill Gov. Hickenlooper vetoed this week.
In addition to blocking the bill to allow publicly traded investments in Colorado, he also vetoed a bill to expand medical marijuana privileges to people with autism.
Gov. Hickenlooper vetoed this bill on Tuesday, the same day he vetoed the investment bill.
Additionally, on Monday he vetoed another marijuana-related bill. This one would have allowed the creation of cannabis “tasting rooms” in the state.
Publicly Traded Investments For Colorado Weed Vetoed By Governor
All told, Gov. Hickenlooper has had an active week when it comes to weed legislation. He vetoed three cannabis bills in two days. As a result, many in the state were unhappy with his decisions.
“Unfortunately, in the past two days our governor has vetoed three significant pieces of legislation that would have helped Colorado families and businesses,” Congressman Jared Polis told local news source Westword.
Lawmakers could bring the bills back to the table next year. But it’s too late to do anything about them this year.