The marijuana market in Colorado is one of the most mature legal cannabis markets in the United States. Colorado’s market is generally separated between “Medical Marijuana Businesses” and “Recreational Marijuana Establishments.”
Getting involved in a mature market will help your business mature more rapidly and give more strict guidance into what a true cannabis business should look like.
Below, we’ve provided a general outline of what it takes to obtain your Colorado grower license and maintain a compliant business. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.
Colorado Marijuana Laws for Growers
Colorado set the bar and best practices in other states, making it much easier with set regulations and minor changes ensure compliance:
- A separate license is required for each specific business or business entity and geographical location. Two marijuana centers/facilities may share a single licensed premise under some circumstances.
- There are a total of 9 license types for medical businesses and 12 license types for recreational businesses, making Colorado’s market just as advanced as California’s.
- Clear tracking of the plants from planting to harvest and transfer must be adequately documented in a system of record as well as submitted to the state through Metrc.
Types of Colorado Grow Licenses
A Colorado Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility can be licensed in three different classes:
- Class 1 (1-500 plants)
- Class 2 (501-1500 plants)
- Class 3 (1501-3000 plants)
This type of facility will require an application cost and license cost. A medical cultivation facility application cost is $300, and the Classes range from $1,500 to $3,500 with an additional $800 charge for any plant expansion beyond the 3000 plant limit.
A Colorado Recreational Marijuana Cultivation Facility has five Tiers of licensure:
- Tier 1 (1-1,800 plants)
- Tier 2 (1,801-3,600 plants)
- Tier 3 (3,601-6,000 plants)
- Tier 4 (6,001-10,200 plants)
- Tier 5 (10,201-13,800 plants)
This type of facility will also require an application cost and license cost. A recreational cultivation facility application cost is $300, and the Classes range from $1,500 to $6,500 with an additional $800 charge for any plant expansion beyond the 3000 plant limit.
For a full list of licensing fees, check out the MED fee schedule.
Colorado Commercial Grow License Cost
The license application fee for growers, processors, and dispensaries is $2,500. This cost is per facility AND per license type. Renewal occurs every year and is $2,500 each.
Colorado Commercial Grow License Application Requirements
To obtain a license to open any business related to marijuana in Colorado, you must fill out a Marijuana License Application.
This application will include information about the owners and the legal business requirements and forms, such as tax and background checks. All processes and organizational structures should be documented for review by the state.
The application will also require you to mark off your desired business licensure, such as recreational or medical and related information, such as license type, business name and address, contacts, and stakeholders.
It’s best if you are fully prepared to start a marijuana business before even applying so that the application gets approved right away. Check out your local city regulations for a full application checklist.
Marijuana Compliance in Colorado
Colorado is contracted with Metrc, a statewide, mandatory tracking system that serves as the state system of record. All licenses in Colorado are required to keep adequate records to ensure that all inventory of plants and products are tracked to provide a clear line of origin.
Cultivators should keep records of harvest dates and follow all instructions set by Metrc to successfully tag and manage inventory. Transfers should also be managed with shipping manifests so that all transfers and taxes can be easily proven.
Metrc is a great tool and can be widely advantageous for any license in the state attempting to track their cultivation operation effectively. Still, it is not the only system of record that a licensee should use. A robust tool as 365 Cannabis can optimize your business operations, give you visibility into all processes occurring and inventory, and is a great system of record both financially and for cultivation.
How does 365 Cannabis fulfill this?
365 Cannabis is a true ERP that delivers a complete business management solution, facilitates compliance, and ensures timely and accurate reporting. With a centralized system, you’ll be able to reduce manual and double entry, nearly eliminating human error.
With a true cannabis ERP software that goes above and beyond seed to sale, you’ll be able to increase efficiency, improve productivity, and grow your cannabis cultivation business.
This article is meant to be a guideline for your reference and is not legal advice. Read more about Colorado marijuana regulations and prepare your application with a cannabis business consultant and/or law firm.