El Paso County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in El Paso County?

Yes. Medical-use cannabis has been legal in Colorado since 2000, while recreational use was legalized in late 2012. While Colorado’s Amendment 64 permits the cultivation of marijuana statewide, El Paso County strictly regulates marijuana cultivation. Amendment 64 allows a locality or a county to prohibit marijuana-related operations. That being said, El Paso County’s Ordinance No. 13-01 bans marijuana cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county, but for incorporated areas, only licensed medical facilities and qualified patients are allowed for cannabis cultivation.

For personal cultivation, Board Resolution 15-427 limits the number of cannabis plants that can be grown in a single housing unit in El Paso County to 12 plants, with half or fewer being mature plants, regardless of the number of persons (must be 21 yrs. old and above) living there. Until today, only medical marijuana is legal in El Paso County.

Amendment 64 also emphasizes that cannabis cultivation shall take place in an enclosed, locked space and shall not be conducted openly or publicly.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in El Paso County?

Yes. However, only medical marijuana product manufacturing is allowed in incorporated areas of El Paso County. Resolution 21-93 bans the operation of a medical marijuana business within the unincorporated areas of the county. Furthermore, Ordinance No. 13-01 prohibits recreational marijuana manufacturing in the county.

For new license applications in incorporated areas of El Paso County, applications must be filed with the County Clerk. Once the application is complete, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office shall conduct a background check of the applicant and all persons involved in the business. Site inspections shall be conducted as well. After that, the El Paso County Planning and Community Development shall establish compliance with Land Development Code regulations, including the site not being located within 1,000 feet of the following:

  • A residential property
  • A school
  • A public park
  • A religious institution
  • A state-licensed drug or alcohol treatment facility
  • A state-licensed childcare facility

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in El Paso County?

Yes, but only medical marijuana dispensaries are licensed to sell medical marijuana to registered and qualified patients. El Paso County strictly regulates the location of medical marijuana businesses pursuant to the Land Development Code, and these dispensaries can only be located in Zoning Districts C1, C2, and M. 

Resolution 21-93, Section 4.10 says that no license shall be issued to any medical marijuana business that is connected with a cultivation facility located outside El Paso County. Medical marijuana businesses are not allowed to sell medical marijuana at any time other than between 8:00 am and 11:59 pm daily.

According to Amendment 64, cannabis, edible products, ointments, and tinctures are approved for sale in Colorado.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in El Paso County?

Colorado’s House Bill 19-1234 allows ​​marijuana delivery in a jurisdiction that has voted to allow delivery. Medical marijuana delivery for medical marijuana centers started on January 2, 2020, while medical marijuana delivery for medical marijuana transporters and all retail marijuana delivery started on January 2, 2021. Denver is one of the few cities that allow marijuana delivery in Colorado.

However, according to Resolution 21-93, Section 4.11, El Paso County does not allow medical marijuana transporters.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in El Paso County

The Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry is a statewide program that allows patients with qualifying medical conditions to hold a registry identification card for legal access to medical marijuana. These health conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Cachexia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Any condition for which a certifying physician could prescribe an opioid

To apply for a medical marijuana card in Colorado, see your health care provider to certify your health condition, complete your application online, wait for the application to be approved in 1-3 business days, and once approved, access your card through your online account.

The registry is managed and handled by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Medical marijuana cards are allowed to all Colorado residents and are valid 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


Phone: 303-692-2184

Email: medical.marijuana@state.co.us

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of El Paso County?

In July 2021, the Office of Research and Statistics of the Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice published that total revenue from taxes, fees, and licenses skyrocketed from $67 million in 2014 to $387 million in 2020 by over 473%. The amount of taxes allocated by the state to the school capital construction and public school fund increased by 264%, from $33 million in 2015 to $120 million in 2020.

According to the study, there are 2,709 licensed marijuana businesses registered in Colorado as of June 2020, 292 of which are in El Paso County.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in El Paso County

According to the same study by the Office of Research and Statistics of the Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice, the total number of marijuana arrests between 2012 and 2019 in the state of Colorado decreased by 68%, from 13,225 to 4,290 cases. In El Paso County, the number of marijuana arrests decreased from 868 cases in 2012 to 459 cases in 2019.

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El Paso County Cannabis