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Colorado Cannabis Regulators Enter Private Consulting

Lewis Koski, left, current head of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, demonstrates a handheld radio-frequency reader, part of the state's marijuana inventory tracking system, during a 2013 news conference in Denver. (Brennan Linsley/AP Photo)

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s top cannabis regulators are starting a private consulting business.

The marijuana coordinator for Gov. John Hickenlooper and the head of the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division say they are leaving state government to offer their services to other clients.

Andrew Freedman was tapped by Hickenlooper to coordinate administrative agencies that oversee cannabis, from the state Health Department to the Department of Agriculture.

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Lewis Koski is the deputy senior director of enforcement at the Colorado Department of Revenue. He’s a former head of the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, which is responsible for cannabis industry licensing, regulation, and enforcement.

The departures announced Thursday aren’t unexpected. The governor’s cananbis coordination office was started two years ago as a short-term catch-all for the newly legal market. And Koski is not the first division chief to head into private consulting.

Correction, Jan. 6, 2017: According to the a Colorado Department of Revenue spokesperson, the original version of this AP story mistakenly referred to Lewis Koski as the head of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. He is currently the deputy senior director of enforcement at the Department of Revenue. The AP story also said the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division collects cannabis taxes. It does not. The division is responsible for licensing, regulation, and enforcement.