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Colorado’s Legal Marijuana Industry Opens Up To More Applicants


colorado marijuana retail legal recreational stores rulesFor the first six months of legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado, only current medical cannabis dispensary owners could own and operate a recreational cannabis store. That policy changed recently to allow non-dispensary owners to apply for a cannabis business license. There was also a provision in place that required store owners to grow their own cannabis. That policy also changed to allow people to specialize in just retail, or just cultivation.

The new businesses are expected to open in October. This will no doubt lead to hundreds more businesses being opened, and thousands of more jobs being created. Despite the new changes, Colorado’s cannabis industry is only open to Colorado residents. Per the Denver Post:

As of mid-June, 292 people had filed optional notices with the state saying that they planned to apply for a recreational marijuana business license starting July 1. The notices don’t say how many of the would-be business owners want to open stores versus cultivation companies.

It also remains to be seen where those businesses will all go. Many cities — including the state’s second-largest, Colorado Springs — still have bans on recreational marijuana businesses. Denver, home to the majority of recreational stores in Colorado, has a moratorium on applications from newcomers until 2016.

The rollout of legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado has been very smooth. Recent underage stings were conducted at retail locations, and not one store was out of compliance. Combine that with booming tax revenue being generated every month, and I’d say Colorado’s cannabis industry is doing a great job. It’s time more states followed suit and took a new approach.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Good going Colorado. Nice to see Another improvement. Cities and states like Colorado Springs Areas blind to the bennifits of legalization. They would rather throw you in jail and let you rot there. Wake up America there is a better way. There is a better life for everyone with freedom of choice.

  2. Colorado you make us proud to be an American!
    You are an inspiration to the future of America and give us MUCH needed hope.

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