How to Get a Colorado Marijuana License for Businesses

Applying for a Colorado Marijuana Business License is done through the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Enforcement Division. The first step is to identify which type of business license you are interested in. The following types of businesses can be created in Colorado:

  • Medical Marijuana Center: a facility that fills medical marijuana prescriptions, may only serve a certain number of patients as determined by their license
  • Retail Marijuana Store: a facility that sells marijuana products to individuals 21 years of age or older
  • Medical or Retail Marijuana-Infused Product Manufacturer: a facility that manufactures marijuana products and concentrates
  • Medical or Retail Marijuana Testing Facility: a facility that does testing and research on marijuana products for another licensed retail marijuana business
  • Medical or Retail Marijuana Operator: a business that provides other licensed retail/medical marijuana businesses with professional services
  • Medical or Retail Marijuana Transporter: a business that transports or temporarily stores marijuana products for another licensed marijuana businesses
  • Optional Premises Cultivation: an additional license for those holding a Medical Marijuana Center license or Medical Marijuana Product Manufacturer license that allows them to cultivate medical marijuana plants
  • Retail Marijuana Cultivation: a facility that grows and harvests marijuana plants. It may only cultivate a certain number of plants as determined by their license

There are two separate application processes for Retail and Medical businesses. A facility with a permit to operate in one activity may only engage in that activity, unless it applies for more licenses. For example a licensed Retail Marijuana Store may only sell products to consumers, it may not engage in cultivation until it also applies for a Retail Marijuana Cultivation License.

Individual employees that work within a licensed facility are also required to have their own personal Occupational License.

Who can qualify?

To be eligible for a Medical Marijuana Business License all of the business owners, officers, directors and stockholders must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Apply for an Associated Key License
  • Be a resident of Colorado, or submit a Pre-Suitability Application
  • Not have any felony convictions
  • Not be a licensed physician making medical marijuana recommendations
  • Not be an officer, reserve officer, agent or employee of any Colorado law enforcement agency
  • Not have had your primary caregiver authorities removed by the State Health Agency
  • Not be a child or spouse living in the household of anyone employed at the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division
  • Not have any delinquent payments to the Department of Revenue relating to a Marijuana Business

How do I apply?

Before applying, gather the required documents, including:

  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State’s Office
  • A copy of the license, or application from your Local Licensing Authority (city or county jurisdiction)
  • Proof of legal possession of the premises being licensed
  • Explanation of funding sources used to finance the business
  • Premises floor plan and security diagram
  • Documents showing the business and ownership structure, ie. Articles of Incorporation

Once all the necessary documents have been collected and all application forms are filled out, signed and notarized, you must create a duplicate copy of the full application packet. Contact the MED to request an appointment for application. All owners must be present at the time of application and all fees must be paid at that  time. If the application is complete, all owners will be required to give fingerprints and have a background check.

How much does it cost?


New Retail Operation Application Fees:

  • Store – $4,500
  • Cultivation Facility – $4,000
  • Marijuana-Infused Product Manufacturer $4.000
  • Testing Facility – $2,000
  • Transporter – $4,900
  • Operator – $2,700

Retail Operation Renewal Fees:

  • Store – $1,800
  • Cultivation Facility Tier 1 (up to 1800 plants) – $1,800
  • Cultivation Facility Tier 2 (1801 – 3600) – $1,100
  • Cultivation Facility Tier 3 (3601 – 6000 plants) – $1,800
  • Cultivation Facility Tier 4 (6001 – 10200 plants) – $3,300
  • Cultivation Facility Tier 5 (10201 – 13800 plants) – $5,300
  • Marijuana-Infused Product Manufacturer – $1,800
  • Testing Facility – $1,800
  • Transporter – $4,700
  • Operator – $2,500

Retail Cultivation Plant Count Increase Fees:

  • Increase to Tier 2 (1801 – 3600 plants) – $1,000
  • Increased to Tier 3 (3601 – 6000 plants) – $2,000
  • Increase to Tier 4 (6001 – 10,200 plants) – $4,000
  • Increase to Tier 5 (10,201 – 13,800 plants) – $6,000


New Medical Operation Application Fees:

  • Medical Center Type 1 (1 – 300 patients) – $9,000
  • Medical Center Type 2 (301 – 500 patients) – $16,000
  • Medical Center Type 3 (501+ patients) – $22,000
  • Optional Premises Cultivation – $2,500
  • Medical Marijuana Product Manufacturer $2,500
  • Medical testing facility $2,500
  • Medical transporter $5,400
  • Medical operator $3,200

Medical Operation Renewal Fees:

  • Center Type 1 (1 – 300 patients) – $2,300
  • Center Type 2 (301 – 500 patients) – $5,300
  • Center Type 3 (501+ patients) – $7,300
  • Optional Premises Cultivation – $1,800
  • Marijuana-Infused Products Manufacturer – $1,800
  • Testing facility – $1,800
  • Transporter – $4,700
  • Operator – $2,500

Which Colorado Cities and Counties allow Marijuana Businesses?

The following Colorado counties and cities allow marijuana businesses to operate:

Retail Only Counties and Cities:

Adams, Antonito, Aurora, Buena Vista, Colorado Springs (limited), Crestone, Crowley (only retail cultivation, manufacturing and testing), Debeque, Dillon, Garfield County, Sheridan, Silt, Walsenburg

Medical Only Counties and Cities:

Alamosa, Berthoud, Cañon City, Crested Butte, Dacono, El Paso County (no transporter businesses), Fremont County, Golden, Lakewood, Littleton, Rocky Ford, Teller County

Both Retail & Medical Counties and Cities:

Alma, Archuleta, Aspen, Basalt, City of Boulder, Boulder County, Carbondale, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Commerce City, Cortez, Costilla County, Crested Butte, City of Denver, Dinosaur, Durango, Town of Eagle, Eagle County, Edgewater, Empire, Englewood (conversion or combined used only), Federal Heights, Fort Collins, Fraser, Frisco, Garden City, Georgetown, Gilpin County, Glendale, Glenwood Springs, Grand County, City of Gunnison, Gunnison County, Hayden, Idaho Springs, La Plata County, La Veta, Lake County, Larimer County, Leadville, Log Lane Village, Louisville (city and county of), Lyons, Mancos, Manitou Springs, Milliken, Moffat County (retail banned until 12/31/2017), Montezuma, Mountain View, Nederland, Northglenn, Nunn, Oak Creek, Ophir, Ouray County, Pagosa Springs, Palisade, Palmer Lake, Parachute, Park County, Pitkin County, City of Pueblo, Pueblo County, Red Cliff, Ridgway, Rifle, Saguache County, Salida, San Juan County, San Luis, San Miguel County, Town of Sedgewick, Silver Plume, Silverthorne, Silverton, Steamboat Springs, Summit County, Telluride, Thornton, Trinidad, Wheat Ridge


Visit our State Guide for more information on getting a Marijuana License in your State.


Photo Credit: Kait Herzog

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