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Colorado

What marijuana/cannabis businesses can you start in Colorado?

Currently, the state has two sides of the marijuana industry: medical and recreational (commonly known as "retail"). The below businesses can be started. The main requirement for owning any (medical or recreational) marijuana business is you need to be a current resident of the state of Colorado and have been living there for at least 2 years prior to applying for a license. Although, the regulations are not so black and white in regards to foreign entities as well as foreign investment coming into the state's marijuana industry. So there may be opportunities for foreigners to have a hand in a business. But the state has given precedence to completely home-grown companies.

How To Open a Medical or Recreational Dispensary in Colorado

Currently, the state allows potential business owners to open a medical or retail marijuana dispensary in Colorado. Whether this is possible or not will hinge heavily on the city and/or county of choice, as the state allows the local municipalities to ban or place moratoriums on whether to license dispensaries for operation or not. 

The state has also removed the restriction of requiring applicants for retail licenses to have already been licensed and operational in the medical marijuana side of the industry.

  1. Create your dispensary business plan
  2. Determine your potential location(s) and investigate whether licensing is possible in the prospective cities and counties.
  3. Install your business infrastructure
  4. Acquire the necessary licenses to operate your dispensary and be completely legal and compliant.
  5. Install the operational infrastructure to be in accordance with all regulations and then open your doors for business.
  6. Contract with cultivators and/or edible/extraction/infused products manufacturers to grow and produce marijuana products for you.

How To Grow/Cultivate Marijuana Legally in Colorado

The situation is nearly identical to that of dispensaries. The city and county would need to allow you to be licensed before you can be allowed to cultivate for medical or recreational purposes. Right now, if you're on the medical side of the industry, you would be required to own/operate a dispensary in order to cultivate any cannabis/marijuana for anything other than personal consumption. For the recreational side, you can be an independent cultivator/grower. Either way, the steps are similar:

  1. Create your cultivation/growing business plan
  2. Determine your potential location(s) and investigate whether licensing is possible in the prospective cities or counties.
  3. Install your business infrastructure. Basically, you need to form your company so your cultivation facility can operate legally.
  4. Acquire the necessary licenses to operate your growing facility and be completely legal and compliant.
  5. Install the operational infrastructure to be in accordance with all regulations and then open your doors for business.
  6. Contract to provide product with dispensaries, delivery services and/or edible/extraction/infused products manufacturers to grow marijuana for them - this will depend on whether you are on the medical or retail side of the industry.

How To Start a Marijuana Edibles, Marijuana Infused Products or Marijuana Extractions Business In Colorado

These types of business are allowed and, as time goes on, regulations for these businesses are getting more and more fleshed out. The steps are similar to all the other businesses.

  1. Create your marijuana edibles/extractions/infused products business plan
  2. Determine your potential location(s) and investigate whether licensing is possible in the prospective cities or counties.
  3. Install your business infrastructure
  4. Acquire the necessary licenses to operate your facility and be legally compliant.
  5. Install the operational infrastructure to be in accordance with all regulations and then open your doors for business.
  6. Contract with dispensaries and delivery services to provide your products to them as well as contract with cultivators to grow marijuana for you - this step will depend on whether you are on the medical or retail side of the industry.

    The latest marijuana industry news, laws, & frequently asked questions for Colorado.