By Pace La Via • July 25, 2019

Colorado Cannabis Regulations: License Applications, Forms, Links, and Other Resources

The U.S. state of Colorado has been among the vanguard of states in the U.S. which have legalized the use of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes. 

In this document, we’ll provide some basic information on how to get a marijuana business license in Colorado as well as a comprehensive list of links to forms and applications and additional resources. 

Colorado Marijuana Businesses

Colorado’s medical program was born on November 7, 2000, when voters approved Amendment 20. There was no regulated industry in the early days. However, patients with a doctor’s recommendation were allowed to grow their own medicine and potentially avoid prosecution via an "affirmative defense of medical necessity." 

Since the enactment of Colorado Amendment 64, twelve years later in November 2012, all adults 21 years of age or older are permitted to legally possess limited amounts of marijuana. Amendment 64 also called for a state-run system of cannabis cultivation, processing, testing, and retail sales. 

By September 9, 2013, the Colorado Department of Revenue had finalized regulations for recreational marijuana establishments. The Colorado Retail Marijuana Code (HB 13-1317) was adopted one week later on September 16, 2013. 

Over the course of the first year of recreational sales, Colorado's legal marijuana market reached total sales of $700 million. In both 2017 and 2018, marijuana sales in Colorado topped $1.5 billion. Between January 2014, and May 2019, marijuana sales surpassed $6 billion. Furthermore, marijuana tax, license and fee revenues have totaled more than $927 million since adult-use marijuana sales began on January 1, 2014. 

In a recent development, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed legislation permitting licensed retailers to designate social consumption areas.

Colorado Cannabis Laws, Rules, and Regulations

Two segments of Colorado's marijuana industry were created via two separate Colorado voter ballot initiatives. Medical Marijuana was made legal through the Amendment Twenty Campaign in November of 2000 and Recreational (Retail)  Marijuana was made legal through the Amendment Sixty-Four Campaign in November of 2012.

Medical and recreational marijuana are governed by two different sets of statutes and rules but are overseen by the same agency - the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). 

According to the MED website, the agency’s mission is “to promote public safety and reduce public harm by regulating the Colorado commercial marijuana industry through the consistent administration of laws and regulations and strategic integration of process management, functional expertise, and innovative problem-solving.”

Both sections addressing Colorado's marijuana industries are contained within Colorado's Constitution Article XVIII, entitled Miscellaneous:

Colorado Cannabis License Applications

In order to qualify for a Colorado cannabis business license, applicants must demonstrate at least two years of Colorado residency and pass criminal and credit background checks. 

All the information you need to operate a retail marijuana business in Colorado is located at the Department of Revenue’s Retail Marijuana Licensing Information Page. 

It’s important to cross-reference state rules on retail marijuana licensing with your local municipality’s rules, which may be stricter.

Colorado Cannabis Business License Applications

Below is a comprehensive list of the various forms and applications which are required for the various types of marijuana businesses and occupations in the state of Colorado. 

License Renewal Applications

License Modifications Forms

Colorado Cannabis Business Forms:

Additional Information

Colorado Marijuana Business License Fees schedule

All of the most current fee information below was provided in this document:
Colorado Marijuana Business License Fees schedule PDF

These are the Colorado cannabis business license fees as of July 15, 2019:

Current Medical Adding Retail (combined use)

Total Due at Application

Retail Fees Fees Due to Local (separate check) 

Retail Marijuana Store

$2,250

$250

Retail Marijuana Cultivation 

$1,750 

$250

Retail Marijuana Products Mfg 

$1,750 

$250

Current Medical Adding Retail (conversion) 

Total Due at Application Retail 

New Retail Fees Due to Local (separate check)

Conversion only* 

$250 

$250 *(expires when current medical expires- unless within 90 days of expiration) 

Marijuana Store 

$4,500 

$2,500

Retail Marijuana Cultivation 

$4,000 

$2,500

Retail Marijuana Products Mfg 

$4,000 

$2,500 

Retail Marijuana Testing Facility 

$2,000 

$500 

Retail Marijuana Transporter (2-yr license) 

$4,900 

$500

Retail Marijuana Operator 

$2,700 

$500

Affiliated Interest (that is not an IBIO) 

$200 

 

Commercially Reasonable Royalty Interest Holder w/more than 30%

$400

 

Commercially Reasonable Royalty Interest Holder w/less than or equal to 30% 

$200 

 

Permitted Economic Interest 

$400

 

Profit Sharing Plan Employee 

$200

 

Qualified Limited Passive Investor -Limited Initial Background Check 

$75

 

Qualified Limited Passive Investor - Full background for reasonable cause 

$125

 

Qualified Institutuional Investor 

$200

 

Medical Fees 

New Medical 

Total Due at Application Center

 

Type 1 (1-300 patients) 

$9,000 

 

Center Type 2 (301-500 patients) 

$16,000 

 

Center Type 3 (501 or more patients) 

$22,000 

 

Optional Premises Cultivation 

$2,500

 

Medical Marijuana Infused Products 

$2,500 

 

Medical Marijuana Testing Facility 

$2,500 

 

Medical Marijuana Transporter (2-yr license) 

$5,400 

 

Medical Marijuana Operator 

$3,200 

 

Marijuana Research and Development Facility

$2,500 

 

Marijuana Research and Development Cultivation 

$3,500 

 

Affiliated Interest (that is not an IBIO) 

$200 

 

Commercially Reasonable Royalty Interest Holder w/more than 30% 

$400

 

Commercially Reasonable Royalty Interest Holder w/less than or equal to 30% 

$200 

 

Permitted Economic Interest 

$400

 

Profit Sharing Plan Employee 

$200 

 

Qualified Limited Passive Investor -Limited Initial Background Check 

$75 

 

Qualified Limited Passive Investor - Full background for reasonable cause 

$125

 

Qualified Institutuional Investor 

$200 

 

Renewal Fees 

Retail Renewal Retail 

Total Due at Application 

 

Marijuana Store 

$1,800 

 

Retail Marijuana Cultivation (up to 1800 plants) 

$1,800 

 

Retail Marijuana Products Mfg 

$1,800

 

Retail Marijuana Testing Facility 

$1,800

 

Retail Marijuana Transporter (2-yr license) 

$4,700

 

Retail Marijuana Operator 

$2,500 

 

Late Renewal Application Fee 

$500 

 

Retail Marijuana Cultivation Extended Plant Count Tier 2 (1801-3600 plants) 

$2,900 

 

Retail Marijuana Cultivation Extended Plant Count Tier 3 (3601-6000 plants) 

$3,600 

 

Retail Marijuana Cultivation Extended Plant Count Tier 4 (6001-10200 plants) 

$5,100 

 

Retail Marijuana Cultivation Extended Plant Count Tier 5 (10201-13800 plants) 

$7,100 

 

Retail Marijuana Cultivation Extended Plant Count Tier 5+ (13801+ in increments of 3600 plants) 

$800 per addt'l 3600 plants over 13,800 

 

Medical Renewal 

Total Due at Application Center 

Type 1 (1-300 patients) 

$2,300

 

Center Type 2 (301-500 patients) 

$5,300 

 

Center Type 3 (501 or more patients) 

$7,300 

 

Optional Premises Cultivation 

$1,800 

 

Medical Marijuana Infused Products 

$1,800 

 

Medical Marijuana Testing Facility 

$1,800 

 

Medical Marijuana Transporter (2-yr license) 

$4,700 

 

Medical Marijuana Operator 

$2,500 

 

Marijuana Research and Development Facility 

$1,800 

 

Marijuana Research and Development Cultivation 

$1,800

 

Individual License Fees

Total Fees Due 

Associated Key/Associated Person/Owner One Year License

$800 

 

Occupational Key Two Year License 

$250  

 

Occupational Support Two Year 

$75 

 

License Occupational Upgrade from Support to Key  

$203.65 

 

Individual Renewal License Fees

Total Fees 

 

Fees Associated Key/Associated Person/Owner 

$500 One Year License 

 

Occupational Key 

$75 Two Year License

 

Occupational Support 

$75 Two Year License 

 

Schedule of Other Application Fees

Fees 

Transfer of Ownership - New Owners 

$1,600 

 

Transfer of Ownership - Reallocation of Ownership 

$1,000 

 

Change of Corporation or LLC Structure 

$800 

 

Change of Trade Name 

$50

 

Change of Location 

$500 

 

Indirect Financial Interest Background Investigation (Financial Declaration) 

$200

 

Modification of Premises 

$100 

 

Duplicate Business License 

$20 

 

Duplicate Occupational License 

$20

 

Off Premise Storage Permit 

$1,500 

 

Medical Marijuana Transporter Off-Premises Storage Permit 

$2,200

 

Responsible Vendor Program App 

$850

 

Responsible Vendor Program Renewal 

$350 

 

Responsible Vendor Program Duplicate Certificate 

$50 

 

Licensed Research Business- Research Project Proposal 

$500 

 

Medical Centralized Distribution Permit 

$20 

 

R&D Co-Location Permit 

$50 

 

Individual Temporary Appointee Registration 

$225 

 

Entity Temporary Appointee Registration 

$800 

 

Schedule of Other Application Fees Retail Fees Fees Transfer of Ownership - New Owners 

$1,600 

 

Transfer of Ownership - Reallocation of Ownership 

$1,000 

 

Change of Corporation or LLC Structure 

$800 

 

Change of Trade Name 

$50 

 

Change of Location 

$500 

 

Modification of Premises 

$100

 

Indirect Financial Interest Background Investigation (Financial Declaration) 

$200 

 

Duplicate Business License 

$20

 

Duplicate Occupational License 

$20 

 

Off Premises Storage Permit 

$1,500

 

Retail Marijuana Transporter Off-Premises Storage Permit 

$2,200 

 

Responsible Vendor Program App 

$850

 

Responsible Vendor Program Renewal 

$350 

 

Responsible Vendor Program Duplicate Certificate 

$50 

 

Retail Centralized Distribution Permit 

$20 

 

R&D Co-Location Permit 

$50 

 

Individual Temporary Appointee Registration 

$225 

 

Entity Temporary Appointee Registration 

$800 

 

Additional Information and Resources

Medical and Retail Marijuana Universal Symbol Examples:

Federal Regulations referenced in Rules M 103 and R 103:

Colorado MED Cannabis Industry Compliance Tools

Contact Information

MED Resources and Statistics

Additional Resources

Colorado Medical Marijuana Business License Numbers

As of June 3, 2019:

  • 459 Centers
  • 627 Cultivations
  • 227 Infused Product Manufacturers 
  • 12 Testing Facilities 
  • 6 Operators
  • 9 Transporters 
  • 1 Research and Development and Research Cultivation

Colorado Retail Marijuana Businesses License Numbers

As of June 3, 2019:

  • 565 Stores
  • 693 Cultivations
  • 283 Product Manufacturers
  • 13 Testing Facilities 
  • 9 Operators
  • 13 Transporters

Colorado Individual Cannabis Licenses 

As of June 3, 2019:

  • 1,662 Associated Key Licensees (Owners)
  • 13,463 Key Occupational Licensees
  • 25,951 Support Occupational Licensees

Contact Colorado MED

MED Office Locations:

All offices are open Monday - Friday, 8:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 - 5:00 P.M., excluding State Holidays.

Hand-delivered marijuana business license Renewal Applications may be submitted between 8:00 -11:00 AM and 1:00 - 4:00 PM only 

Initial Occupational Licensing application submission is available by appointment only at all MED Offices - please visit our Occupational Licensing page for more information

MED Leadership Team 

As of July 15, 2019

Director

Deputy Directors

Deputy Chiefs of Investigations

Agents in Charge 

Most Recent MED Notices

As of July 15, 2019

Committee releases third report on marijuana health effect

Marijuana use during pregnancy, concerns related to marijuana in homes with children, and adolescent use should continue to guide public health edu

MED Issues Statement of Position Re: Kief

December 3, 2018 - The Marijuana Enforcement Dvision (MED) issued a Statement of Position regarding the definition of Kief.

Universal Symbol Requirements for Vaporizer Cartridges and Pens or Syringe-Type Devices

December 3, 2018 - MED Industry Bulletin 18-11 discusses labeling requirements for Vaporizer Cartridges, Vaporizer Pens or Syringe-Type Devices. 

New Colorado rules increase marijuana product safety and improve business efficiencies

Colorado Department of Public Safety Releases Impact Report - October 2018

The Colorado Department of Public Safety released it's Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado Report in October 2018.

MED Industry Bulletin Re: Industrial Hemp Testing

The Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Public Health and Environment

HB 18‐1259 Implementation

The General Assembly passed House Bill 18‐1259, effective August 8, 2018, amending the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code, 12‐43.3‐101, et seq., C.R.S

Market Size and Demand Study for Marijuana in Colorado

The Market Size and Demand Study for 

MED Industry Bulletin 18-08 Improved New Business License Submission Process

In order to enhance customer service, the Division is streamlining the process for submitting new medical marijuana and retail marijuana business l

Mandatory Pesticide Testing for Medical and Retail Marijuana Flower and Trim

Proficiency testing has been established for the testing of pesticides in the category...

Emergency Medical and Retail Marijuana Rules Adopted

On June 18, 2018, the State Licensing Authority adopted emergency Medical and Retail Marijuana rules, for which the Statement of Emergency Justify...

MED - 2017 Annual Update

On Friday, May 25, 2018, Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) released its 2017 annual update, which includes...

MED Industry Bulletin - Pregnancy-Related Morning Sickness

The Marijuana Enforcement Division became aware of circumstances under which licensed medical and retail marijuana businesses and/or their employee

Marijuana Enforcement Division adopts a single universal symbol and streamlines packaging and labeling requirements

Effective immediately, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) and State Licensing Authority, Mike Hartman, adopted a single universal symbol for packaging, labeling and on-product marking of medical and retail marijuana, concentrate and product by removing the “M” from the existing medical symbol. 

MED Bulletin: New Packaging and Labeling Rules and Effective Dates

This Industry‐Wide Bulletin is intended to inform licensees about rules and upcoming changes regarding packaging and labeling requirements and does not replace each licensee’s responsibility to read and comply with all applicable laws and rules.

CDOT Launches The Cannabis Conversation

What are your thoughts around driving and cannabis? Do you want the chance to voice your opinion? The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is working on a first-of-its-kind effort to better understand Coloradans’ thoughts and opinions around driving under the influence of marijuana.

MED Compliance Tip: Web‐Based Medical Marijuana Registry System and Permitted Patient Card Formats

Topic: Web‐Based Medical Marijuana Registry System and Permitted Patient Card Formats

MED Bulletin: New Outdoor Cultivation Security Requirements Mandatory on Jan. 1, 2019

Feb. 5, 2018 - This Industry Bulletin is being issued to notify licensees of new requirements for outdoor or greenhouse medical and retail marijuana cultivations (collectively referred to as “Outdoor Cultivations”), effective January 1, 2019.

Public Health and Safety Advisory

January 24, 2018 - Bronnor Corp, in coordination with The Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (“CDPHE”), in the interest of public health and public safety, are issuing a health and safety advisory due to the preliminary indication of potentially unsafe levels of residual Ethanol on retail marijuana. 

Coloradans Know More About Marijuana Now Than When It Was Legalized

DENVER - Recent evaluation results show that Colorado’s marijuana public education eff

Submit A Topic for the Retail Marijuana Public Health Committee to Study

The Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee (RMPHAC) is seeking public input on topics to study related to the potential adverse effects or public health impacts of marijuana use.

MED Bulletin Regarding U.S. Department of Justice Announcement

Last week the Marijuana Enforcement Divison issued a bulletin regarding the U.S. Department of Justice Announcement.

Denver Launches “High Costs” Marijuana Education and Prevention Campaign Targeted at City’s Youth

DENVER – Many Denver youth feel that using marijuana is the social norm, but that’s not actually the case.

Colorado Publishes Lessons Learned Article After Three Years of Legalized, Recreational Marijuana

The Colorado Department of Public Health Environment and The Colorado Department of Public Safety published their lessons learned after three years

New Guide Offers Marijuana Education and Youth Prevention Resources

Public Health and Safety Advisory for Pikes Peak Cannabis Caregivers, LLC

Public Health and Safety Advisory for Citi-Med LLC, dba Starbuds

November 17, 2017 - In accordance with

State Licensing Authority Adopts Permanent Rules

CDOT, Lyft and Marijuana Industry Group Join Forces to Promote Marijuana Safety

CDOR Adoption of Emergency and Permanent Marijuana Tax Rules

Interactive Adult Marijuana Data Now Available

Public Health and Safety Advisory for Tree of Wellness INC, dba Tree of Wellness

November 3, 2017 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in

Public Health and Safety Advisory for Rocky Mountain Ways, LLC dba Good Meds

April 26, 2017 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in co

Public Health and Safety Advisory for Herbal Options, LLC dba Good Meds

April 26, 2017 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in co

Committee releases second report on marijuana health effects

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Green Meadows Wellness LLC, dba Infinite Wellness Center

October 19, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with

New Colorado rules make marijuana packaging safer for adults, less appealing to children

New universal symbol required for all marijuana packaging and products; Packaging that

Cannabis Users Survey on Health (CUSH)

Today the Cannabis Users Survey on Health (CUSH) launched, which will give us important health information.

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Biomeds, LLC

May 23, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with the

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Best Budz, LLC

May 23, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with the

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Kazimer, LLC.

April 26, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with th

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Medicine Man, LLC.

April 22, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with th

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Grow Life, LLC.

April 21, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with th

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Caregivers for Life, LLC.

April 20, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with th

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding J and J Enterprises, Inc.,

April 7, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with the

Public Health and Safety Advisory Regarding Flower Power Botanicals, LLC.

April 7, 2016 - In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (D 2015-015), the Colorado Department of Revenue (“DOR”), in conjunction with the