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Five years later, federal authorities have stayed away, but the industry says it has been stifled by over-regulation.In Colorado, which already loosened its rules to allow licensed businesses to have up to 15 out-of-state owners, lawmakers from both parties want to further open the industry to include ownership by publicly traded companies and to limit background-check requirements.Washington lawmakers are considering a dual approach: easing financial restrictions while taking a more lenient view of rules violations, making it less likely businesses will lose their licenses for things like sloppy record-keeping. Three dozen have had their licenses canceled since 2015, while 32 more face revocation notices, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.One measure pending in the Democratic-led legislature would open the industry to out-of-state ownership and allow businesses to become bigger, with a caveat: Any licensees hoping to take advantage would have to agree to let their workforce unionize.They would also be able to obtain two additional marijuana licenses, allowing them to have up to seven retail shops or up to five growing and processing licenses, said the main sponsor, Sen. Rebecca Saldana.Investors could hold up to 10 percent of the business without undergoing background checks, though their names would still need to be disclosed.
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