History of Marijuana in Colorado
“The Centennial State” has one of the longest, and most prominent, history in the cannabis space. Colorado began its journey of decriminalization and legalization of the marijuana plant in the 1970s. In 1975, the Colorado Legislature decriminalized possession, transportation, and private use of marijuana – allowing possession of up to one (1) ounce to be a simple petty offense, with a maximum fine of $100. By 1979, Colorado’s first attempt at legalizing medical marijuana came in the form of the “Dangerous Drugs Therapeutic Research Act;” however, due to its enactment being dependent on federal government approval, it never came to be. Although there was much push-back, in 2000, Coloradans approved of Amendment 20, which made The Centennial State the 1st state to legalize medical marijuana in its Constitution.
For the next several years, Colorado had to go through many trials and tribulations as one of the leading states to implement a medical marijuana program in opposition to federal law. With the publication of the Ogden Memo, there was a boom in dispensary operations and a significant increase in the patient population, also known as the “Green Rush.”
Although faced with criticism, Amendment 64 passed with over 55% voter approval in 2012, making Colorado the 1st state to officially legalize adult-use of marijuana. The state of Colorado’s first adult-use recreational dispensaries opened their doors on January 1st, 2024.
Types of Colorado Marijuana Business Licenses
- Retail or Medical Marijuana Store
- Retail or Medical Marijuana Products Manufacturer
- Retail or Medical Cultivation Facility
- Retail or Medical Testing Facility
- Retail or Medical Transporter
- Retail or Medical Business Operator
- Marijuana Research and Development Facility
- Marijuana Hospitality Business
- Retail Marijuana Hospitality and Sales Business
Applications for Cannabis Business Licenses in Colorado
The state of Colorado operates their cannabis program at both the state and local level, such that to become a licensed business, interested applicants must acquire state and local approval.
Currently, there are numerous localities that are accepting applications for medical and/or adult-use cannabis business licenses. You can view a list of localities with an open application process HERE.
Further, the Colorado Department of Revenue has distributed the Regulated Marijuana Business License Application, which applicants are required to submit to the state-level for licensure approval.
If you are interested in entering Colorado’s billion-dollar legal marijuana market, now is the time to work with a Team of experts to set your business apart from the rest. Contact us today to discuss your options!
Contact a Colorado Marijuana Business License Consultant
For those interested in joining Colorado’s marijuana market, now is the time to work with a Team of Colorado cannabis business consultants to prepare to apply. Contact us today to discuss your options!
Last Updated: July 10th, 2023