DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 24: John Fritzel at his office in Denver of MJardin on Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Fritzel is one of the top marijuana businessmen in the city. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/ The Denver Post)

Denver company avoids Colorado ban on publicly traded pot companies

As Colorado’s legislature considers whether to allow publicly traded cannabis companies to operate in the state, one such company in Denver has been doing so for months.

Founded in 2010 by John Fritzel, then a bankrupt former Subway franchisee, and two of his friends, MJardin has become a significant player in North America’s cannabis industry. In Colorado alone, it manages 13 cultivation facilities, 14 acres of outdoor growing operations and seven dispensaries, according to a slideshow presentation it gave to investors in January that was obtained by The Denver Post.

In mid-November, MJardin went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange, seemingly causing a conflict with the spirit — if not the letter — of Colorado’s prohibition on publicly traded cannabis companies. There are a half-dozen mentions of the restriction in the state’s marijuana rulebook.

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