In Colorado, a marijuana business operator is an individual or entity authorized to operate a cannabis establishment on behalf of an owner for remuneration. According to Title 44, §44.12.407, and §44.11.407 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, medical and recreational cannabis business owners can employ the services of business operators in their facilities.
Yes. The Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 44, §44.12.407, and §44.11.407 stipulate that cannabis business operators must obtain licenses from the state to operate legally. The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) under the Colorado Department of Revenue is the state agency that regulates and issues licenses to medical and recreational cannabis business operators.
Corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and sole proprietors can register for business operator licenses in Colorado. Marijuana business operators must maintain their business premises separate from the establishments for which they provide professional operational services. However, such business premises cannot be regarded as licensed marijuana facilities. Therefore, the cultivation, storage, manufacture, sale, use, testing, or distribution of cannabis or cannabis-infused products is prohibited on operators’ business premises.
In Colorado, marijuana business operator licensees can provide professional operational services to more than one licensed cannabis business at a time. Recreational and medical marijuana business operators can also offer management services to licensed cannabis businesses.
Yes. Marijuana business operator licensees must adhere to all local laws in the counties or cities where they provide professional operational services. These include:
According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 44 §44.10.307(1)(a)(VII), prospective marijuana business operators in Colorado must be at least 21 years old. Applicants must provide:
To apply for a marijuana business operator license in Colorado, applicants should:
Complete the Regulated Marijuana Business License Application Form
Complete a Findings of Suitability Application Form
Pay the non-refundable license application fee - The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) offers various payment options. Applicants can write checks payable to the Department of Revenue or include a credit card authorization or money order with their application submissions.
Alternatively, they can pay online through the Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA). If an applicant opts for online payment, the Division will contact them via email and provide a payment link. The MED advises applicants to double-check their payments before applying because incomplete payments may delay license issuance. Cash payments are not acceptable.
Pay local jurisdiction fees - Applicants must include the payments for the local jurisdictions where their businesses will be situated. The Division only accepts checks or money orders for local jurisdiction fees. This payment must be separate from the license application fee.
Attach supporting documents
Submit the application - To submit a business operator license application in Colorado, an applicant may choose any of these three options:
Mail - Mail applications can be sent to the Marijuana Enforcement Division at:
1697 Cole Boulevard,
Lakewood, CO 80401
In-person - Applicants can submit in person by visiting the Division’s physical address between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.
Online - The Division provides an online portal for marijuana license applications. Interested persons must first sign up with their email addresses and create passwords for subsequent access. Persons submitting online do not need to download the license application form.
In addition, all staff of a proposed marijuana operator establishment must complete an application to obtain an employee license. Interested persons can review the MED’s application checklist before sending in their applications. Colorado residents can make license-related inquiries by calling the Division at 1 (303) 866-3330 or visiting their office during business hours.
The required fees for obtaining a cannabis operator license in Colorado differ for medical and recreational marijuana business operators. The application costs are:
Yes. The provisions of Title 44, Colorado Revised Statutes do not prohibit retail marijuana business operators from holding other cannabis license types. However, they cannot obtain an additional permit to operate a recreational cannabis business. Also, license holders cannot convert their licenses to retail cannabis facility licenses. While medical marijuana business operators can operate more than one cannabis business owned by others, they cannot establish their own licensed medical marijuana facilities.