It’s no surprise to anyone that the cannabis business in Colorado is booming. Ever since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, residents have been setting up medical and retail dispensaries throughout the state. The business venture has earned the state of Colorado billions of dollars per year and hasn’t slowed despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, in 2020 the state of Colorado made approximately 2.1 billion dollars from marijuana sales.
You may be interested in getting your toe wet in the cannabis industry. If you’re interested in operating and selling cannabis at a retail dispensary, then you’ll have to apply for a Retail Marijuana Store License. With this type of license, you will be able to lawfully operate a cannabis business that sells retail marijuana to any buyer over the age of 21.
Before you can get started with your exciting business venture, you’ll first need to apply for a Retail Marijuana Store License. You’ll be required to provide in-depth personal and financial information, pay expensive fees, undergo a background check, amongst other requirements. The laws behind cannabis licensing are quite complex. For that reason, it’s advised you go through the licensing process with the help of a Colorado marijuana business attorney.
Colorado Marijuana Business License Attorney | Colorado Springs
Many are tempted to go through the licensing process on their own, but later discover that licensure is almost impossible without comprehensive knowledge of MED Rules. Get your retail cannabis dispensary set up right the first time with the experienced Colorado Springs marijuana business lawyers at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Clifton Black specializes in formatting and establishing marijuana businesses. He can help you gather what you need to apply successfully for a retail license.
Contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today at (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with Clifton Black. He can answer any and all questions about your pursuit for licensing, and then advise you on what the next best step is. We assist business owners in areas including Denver County, El Paso County, and Arapahoe County.
- Colorado Retail Marijuana Store Privileges
- Retail Marijuana Store License Limitations
- How Do I Open a Marijuana Dispensary in Colorado?
- Additional Resources
Colorado Retail Marijuana Store License Privileges
It’s important you understand the full scope of what a Retail Marijuana Store License can do before you apply for it. There are various types of licenses available in Colorado and you should only apply for a Store License if you plan to open a dispensary or a complex cannabis business. The term “Retail Marijuana Store” under the MED Rules is defined as an:
“Entity licensed to purchase Retail Marijuana and Retail Marijuana Concentrate from a Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility and to purchase Retail Marijuana Product and Retail Marijuana Concentrate from a Retail Marijuana Products Manufacturer, and to Transfer Retail Marijuana to Retail Marijuana Hospitality and Sales Businesses and to consumers.”
The privileges of a Retail Marijuana Store License can be found under 6-105 of the Code of Colorado Regulations. They include:
- Licensed Premises – Those with a Retail Marijuana Store License are permitted to share, and operate at, the same Licensed Premises with a commonly-owned Medical Marijuana Store. Although you must have a separate license for each business.
- Provide Samples for Testing – If you have a Marijuana Store License, you can provide sample of products for testing/research purposes to a Retail Marijuana Testing Facility.
- Source of Retail Marijuana — As a Retail Marijuana Store Licensee you can only Transfer Retail Marijuana that was obtained from another Retail Marijuana Business.
- Authorized On-Premises Storage – If you have a Retail Marijuana Store License, you can then secure all inventory on the Licensed Premises. However, it must be secured in a Limited Access Area or a Restricted Access Area and tracked with inventory rules.
- Performance-Based Incentives for Employees – You can use performance-based incentives with a Retail Marijuana Store License including those based on sales.
- Marijuana Transport Authorization – As a Retail Marijuana Store, you will be able to utilize a licensed Retail Marijuana Transporter for transportation of your inventory so long as the place where the transportation order is taken and delivered is a licensed Retail Marijuana Business.
- Transfer of Industrial Hemp – Retail Marijuana Store Licensees can Transfer Industrial Hemp Product to a consumer only after it has confirmed:
- The product has passed all required testing at a Retail Marijuana Testing Facility
- The individual transferring the product to a Retail Marijuana Store is registered with the Department of Public Health and Environment
Please note, Retail Marijuana Stores are prohibited from delivering product unless they have a valid delivery permit.
The only place an Automated Dispensing Machine is allowed in the state of Colorado is at a Retail Marijuana Store. You can implement one of these in your dispensary to limit interaction with employees/owner and customers. The machine must be reasonably monitored and comply with all requirements set forth under the Code of Colorado Regulations.
Retail Marijuana Store License Limitations
Although a Retail Marijuana Store License does permit you to sell cannabis, there are some limitations. Failure to follow these rules or prohibited acts could result in the revocation of your Retail License. The following are some prohibited actions and general limitations for a Retail Marijuana Store License including, but not limited to:
- Selling retail marijuana products to anyone under the age of 21
- Prior to initiating a sales or transfer, the Licensee must verify the age of the purchaser with a government-issued photo ID
- Stores cannot sell more than one ounce or its equivalent in concentrate/other types of cannabis products in a single transaction.
- Licensees are prohibited from selling Retail Marijuana online. Only those with a valid delivery permit can make a sale over online.
- Any delivery of retail marijuana outside of Colorado is prohibited
- Giving away product for free is prohibited
- Selling any alcohol or nicotine or product with any alcohol/nicotine is prohibited
- Must follow display/storage limitations outlined in the Colorado Code of Regulations
- Cannot transfer any expired Retail Marijuana Product to a consumer
- May not possess or transfer Sampling Units
- Cannot transfer any Retail Marijuana to a Pesticide Manufacturer, or a Marijuana Research and Development Facility
- Edibles shaped like a human, animal, or fruit prohibited
- Must report adverse events according to the Colorado Code of Regulations
- Must establish and maintain written procedures that implement Corrective Action and Preventative Action
How Do I Open a Marijuana Dispensary in Colorado?
To open a retail marijuana dispensary, you’ll have to apply for a Retail Marijuana Store License. It’s important to note certain counties have limitations on how many licenses they give out a year. In some areas you can only apply for a medical marijuana license like Colorado Springs.
You will have to confirm with the Local Authority Licensing whether they will allow Retail Marijuana Businesses in their jurisdiction and if they’re accepting applications. Depending on the area, you may have to obtain a license with the Local Licensing Authority within the jurisdiction you intend to operate your business. For that reason, many suggest beginning the Local Licensing Authority license application at the same time you’re pursuing a state license.
It’s important to note the licensing procedures and requirements under the MED rules can be extremely complicated. That’s why it’s important you have legal representation on your side who has a nuanced understanding of Colorado licensing laws. The following is the steps you must take to successfully apply for a Retail Marijuana Store License in Colorado.
1. Finish the MED Regulated Marijuana Business License Application
Download the application and ensure it includes addendums for publicly traded companies, qualified private funds, qualified institutional investors, and marijuana research and development facilities
2. Include any Applicable Findings of Suitability Application
The purpose of the Finding of Suitability Application is to see if you’re a suitable business owner according to MED rules. You must submit the suitability application and have been found suitable to obtain a license.
3. Before You Apply, You Must Pay All Requisite Fees
These fees include a $5,000 application fee, a $2,000 license fee and separate checks to both the state and local governments. State check must be $4,500 and local government fees are $2,500.
The fees due to local jurisdictions must be included in the application submission as a separate form of payment. Check or money order only.
4. Include any required supporting information
According to the MED rules, you must also apply for a State Tax License relevant to retail marijuana which is Colorado Retail Sales Tax and Retail Marijuana Sales Tax. You will also have to meet specific state and Federal Labor and Employment requirements.
Once you’ve completed all the necessary requirements, you can submit the application via mail, digitally, or you can drop it off at the MED office.
MED Retail Marijuana Store License Application – Visit the official website for the Marijuana Enforcement Division to learn more about how you can apply for a retail license. Access the site to learn what documentation you may need, forms you must turn in, and contact information for the MED.
Retail Marijuana License Types | C.R.S. – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to look at their state laws regarding cannabis licensing. Access the site to learn the various types of licenses you can apply for, what they do, and what’s needed to obtain one.
Colorado Springs Cannabis Business Lawyer | Retail Marijuana Licensing
If you are interested in setting up a marijuana retail business, consult with Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our experienced Colorado marijuana business formation lawyers have assisted numerous people successfully obtain a license. We can guide you through the process step by step and ensure you receive your license in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
Call our team today at (719) 328-1616 to set up your first consultation with Colorado Springs marijuana compliance attorney Clifton Black. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC is located in Colorado Springs, but accepts clients in other areas including Denver County, El Paso County, and Arapahoe County.