Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper signed House Bill 18-1280 into law to allow a marijuana business to appoint a “representative” to take possession of, operate, manage, or control the business in the event an owner were to pass away or become incapacitated. The term “representatives” in this context includes an executor/personal representative, guardian, trustee, or any other similarly situated person or entity that is appointed on behalf of the initial authorized owner to take possession of, operate, manage, or control the business.

So, what does the passage of this Bill and related regulations mean for your estate planning documents? Prior to the enactment of this legislation, there was uncertainty as to how individuals could protect their ownership interests in their retail and/or medical marijuana businesses in the event they were to pass away or become incapacitated because of the restrictions on transferring ownership and/or managerial roles to individuals that are not previously authorized by the MED. Now that the law allows an executor/personal representative, guardian, and or trustee to be court appointed for a licensed medical and or retail marijuana business, the owners of such businesses can now designate in their estate planning documents the person or entity that they would like to have this responsibility in the event of death or incapacity. However, a proposed appointee must give notice to the state licensing authority and related local licensing authority within seven (7) days of accepting the appointment and must additionally file an application for the finding of suitability within fourteen (14) days of accepting the appointment.

With new proposed permanent rules going into effect January 1, 2019, end of the year estate planning may become critical for proper succession. Please contact our office if you are interested in learning more about the passage of the new law and/or are interested in having your estate planning documents prepared or reviewed by attorneys who are experienced in Wills, Trusts & Estates.