Yes. Medical-use cannabis became legal in Colorado in 2000, while recreational use was legalized in 2012. Colorado’s Amendment 64 allows the cultivation of marijuana statewide, but Arapahoe County regulates marijuana cultivation. Amendment 64 states that a county or a locality may prohibit marijuana-related operations. With that said, Arapahoe County authored Ordinance No. 2013-01, which bans marijuana cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county. However, for incorporated areas, consumers and qualified patients (recreational and medical-use cannabis) are allowed for home cultivation.
For personal cultivation, Section 3-3.5 of the Arapahoe County Land Development Code limits the number of cannabis plants that can be grown in each dwelling unit in Arapahoe County to 12 plants, with three plants or fewer being mature flowering plants, regardless of the number of persons or patients/ caregivers living there. Cannabis cultivation shall occur in an enclosed, secure space and shall not be conducted in a greenhouse or outdoors.
Yes. However, Ordinance No. 2013-01 bans the operation of a cannabis production facility within the unincorporated areas of Arapahoe County. For incorporated areas, cannabis production is allowed. The Marijuana Enforcement Division of Colorado regulates the marijuana business license application statewide. For setting up a cannabis production business, the applicant must complete the business application form, including the required disclosures, and pay the application fee and local jurisdiction fees. Currently, the Marijuana Enforcement Division does not accept walk-in applications.
Applications can be submitted by mail with all attachments and fees:
Marijuana Enforcement Division
1697 Cole Blvd., Suite 200, Lakewood, CO 80401
ATTN: Business Licensing
Marijuana businesses are required by law to sell all marijuana products in packaging that’s child-resistant, resealable, and not see-through. The packaging must protect children, teenagers, and adults from accidentally eating products that they don’t realize contain marijuana. Using the packaging from the licensed store is an important first step in safe storage.
Yes. Unincorporated areas of Arapahoe County currently have four medical marijuana dispensaries. These dispensaries were doing business even before the County’s adoption of Ordinance No. 2013-01, which prohibited the operation of commercial and medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas. However, Ordinance No. 2013-01 was amended by virtue of Ordinance No. 2020-02, which now allows these four dispensaries to be used as a retail marijuana store and/or a medical marijuana store, and that the establishment of new retail or medical marijuana businesses within unincorporated Arapahoe County is prohibited.
People who are 21 years old and above are permitted to buy and possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis at one time from licensed retail stores. It’s a felony to give or sell to, or share cannabis with, anyone under 21. According to Amendment 64, cannabis, ointments, tinctures, and edible products are approved for sale in Colorado.
Marijuana use is not allowed in public places. This includes the following outdoor and indoor places:
Since marijuana is still not legalized under federal law, you can’t use it on federal lands, such as national parks, forests, and ski slopes. Under State rules, retail marijuana facilities can operate between 8 a.m. and midnight. Counties or municipalities may require stricter hours of operation.
House Bill 19-1234 of Colorado allows cannabis delivery in a jurisdiction that has voted to allow delivery. Medical marijuana delivery for medical marijuana facilities began on January 2, 2020, while medical marijuana delivery for medical marijuana transporters and retail marijuana delivery began on January 2, 2021. Cannabis deliveries are limited to one transaction per customer per day and limited to private residences of consumers and patients with medical marijuana cards. Deliveries must not be made to college campuses.
The Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry is a program that permits patients with qualifying health conditions to hold an identification card for access to medical marijuana in the State. These qualifying conditions include:
To apply for a medical marijuana card in Colorado, set an appointment with your health care provider to certify your medical condition, complete your application online, and wait for the application to be approved in 1 to 3 business days. Once your application is approved, access your card via your online account.
The Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry is managed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Medical marijuana cards are allowed to Colorado residents and are valid for use only in the state.
For questions or concerns, you may also mail or contact:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Dr. S. Denver, CO
In 2021, the Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice published a study that revealed the total revenue from fees, taxes, and licenses of marijuana establishments has increased from $67 million in 2014 to a whopping $387 million in 2020 by more than 473%. The amount of taxes spent by the State on constructing the schools and funding public schools increased by 264% in just 5 years, from $33 million in 2015 to $120 million in 2020.
According to the report, there are 2,709 licensed marijuana businesses registered in Colorado as of 2020, 94 of which are in Arapahoe County.
According to the same report by the Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice, the total marijuana arrests between 2012 and 2019 throughout Colorado decreased by 68%, from 13,225 to 4,290 cases. In Arapahoe County, the number of marijuana arrests decreased from 1,478 cases in 2012 to 324 cases in 2019.