DENVER (CBS4) – Two former top regulators of Colorado’s marijuana industry have now gone to work for the other side.
Colorado’s Amendment 64 bars legislators from lobbying state officials for two years after they leave office. But there’s nothing that stops former department directors from going to work for the industry they regulated.
Matt Cook and Laura Harris’ jobs were to enforce the rules and regulations of Colorado’s marijuana industry. Now both of them are working for it.
The news about Harris comes in a release from Denver Relief Consulting that states “former cannabis enforcement chief joins firm.”
The release does not state exactly what Harris, the former head of marijuana enforcement, will do but cites her background in regulatory compliance.
Elena Nunez is State Executive Director of Common Cause, a non-partisan organization that works for credible government.
“There are a couple of problems potentially. One, they have specialized knowledge of the agency and its processes and they also have special relationships that can influence their ability to get approval for contracts contributions or other things,” said Nunez.
Matt Cook was spotlighted on the CBS news program “60 Minutes.”
“Matt Cook, a former narcotics officer, wrote the law and served as the state’s first director of enforcement,” they said.
Cook is now a consultant to the marijuana industry with the 60 Minutes interview displayed on his website. His credentials include Senior Director of Enforcement for the Colorado Department of Revenue.
“We need to make sure those folks who are privy to confidential information about the industry or client matters. Maintain that confidentiality and privilege,” said State Rep. and Assistant House Majority Leader Dan Pabon.
Harris and Cook could not be reached for comment. The governor’s office said it found no legal or ethical breach on their part.