Lawmakers Consider Ending Residency Requirement for Marijuana Workers – Westword

Traveling for work is a requirement of some jobs, but commercial cannabis employees traveling to Colorado from other states face an unusual obstacle: They must be shadowed and registered as a “visitor” at all times while working.

Colorado cannabis regulations mandate that anyone with a marijuana industry badge — a working badge required of all pot employees in the state — be a resident. Originally written when Colorado was the only state with recreational pot, the rule was intended to limit out-of-state diversion and black market activity.

As the cannabis industry matures and more and more states legalize the plant, companies located in California, Nevada and even Canada are entering the state, while Colorado pot brands continue to expand outside of our borders. According to industry representatives, the influx of multi-state businesses has highlighted an unnecessary restriction placed on visiting workers brought in to train new staff or set up new business ventures, such as growers, extractors and dispensary general managers.

“This is the only industry, to our knowledge, that has residency requirements for employees and managers,” explains Terrapin Care Station communications manager Peter Marcus in a statement. “And with Colorado being the leader for the cannabis industry, many pioneer companies here have expanded into other states. Employees and managers should be free to apply for occupational licensure in the respective states in which they work. It’s honestly as simple as that.”

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The residency requirement could end this year if the state legislature passes House Bill 1080. Introduced by Representative Matt Gray (D-Broomfield), the bill would end residency requirements for cannabis employees living in other states and allow them to apply for a license to work in Colorado. They would still have to undergo a background check; the measure would not allow employees to

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