At least three influential officials at the state agency that regulates marijuana businesses have found work doing cannabis industry consulting after leaving the division, the latest sign of the industry's growing allure in Colorado.

All three officials say they adhered to strict — but not always mandatory — ethical standards in switching from the regulators to the regulated. And an ethics expert said the moves are not necessarily a conflict, noting that such public-to-private switches are common in many regulated industries.

But the moves do show the increasing legitimization — and commercialization — of the marijuana industry. And they have caused concern among remaining state officials, who say the moves could send the wrong message to the public.

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