Yes. As required by Amendment 64, any person or entity intending to operate a marijuana product manufacturing facility in Colorado must obtain the requisite state license. This license is referred to as a marijuana products manufacturer license. It permits the holder to run a facility that produces cannabis products such as concentrates, edibles, and tinctures. Marijuana products manufacturer licensees can only wholesale their product to state-licensed medical marijuana centers (dispensaries) and retail marijuana stores. The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) of the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) is tasked with licensing marijuana product manufacturing businesses in the state.
No. It is not mandatory for licensed marijuana product manufacturing facilities in Colorado to obtain cultivation licenses. However, they can apply for one if they deem it necessary since the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) allows a person or entity to hold more than one marijuana business license in the state. The MED considers additional licenses held by a marijuana business separately, even if the different facilities are in the same location. Licensed marijuana products manufacturers can obtain marijuana from MED-licensed marijuana cultivation facilities in the state. A licensed marijuana products manufacturer can also cultivate its own marijuana once it gets a marijuana cultivation license.
Colorado only has only one class of marijuana products manufacturer license. However, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) offers social equity licensees a special kind of license known as marijuana accelerator manufacturer license to enable them to produce cannabis-infused products. This license allows social equity licensees to bear the privileges of marijuana products manufacturers on the premises of an accelerator-authorized marijuana products manufacturer. Usually, a marijuana products manufacturer with an accelerator approval gives financial and technical assistance support to a marijuana accelerator manufacturer.
Colorado's two types of marijuana manufacturing licenses are the medical marijuana and retail (recreational) marijuana products manufacturer licenses. A medical marijuana product manufacturer license allows the holder to establish a facility that manufactures medical marijuana products. In contrast, a retail marijuana product manufacturer license is given to individuals or entities that manufacture recreational marijuana products.
Typically, each of these facilities must prepare their products on licensed premises meant solely for the manufacturing and preparation of marijuana products for which they are licensed. Also, each can only use the equipment exclusively intended for the preparation of their products. It implies that a medical marijuana products manufacturing facility cannot use its premises or equipment to prepare recreational marijuana in Colorado. However, if a local jurisdiction permits, a medical marijuana products manufacturing licensee can share the same premises with a retail marijuana product license holder, provided there is a physical separation of each facility's inventory.
There is no separate license issued for marijuana edibles manufacturing in Colorado. The marijuana products manufacturer license allows the holder to manufacture and prepare edibles, among other cannabis-infused products. A medical marijuana products manufacturer license authorizes the licensee to manufacture medical marijuana edibles, while a retail products manufacturer license permits its holder to manufacture recreational marijuana edibles.
The marijuana licensing authority in Colorado is the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), a division under the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR). Anyone or entity that intends to get a marijuana products manufacturer license in the state must complete the Regulated Business License Application Form and submit it with requisite documents to the MED. While completing this form, an applicant must indicate that they are applying for a new retail or new medical license. They must also select either a medical marijuana transporter or retail marijuana transporter depending on the manufacturing license type of their interest.
The MED requires prospective marijuana products manufacturer licensees to determine their suitability before submitting their applications. As such, it provides two different forms to assist license applicants in finding their suitability. Applicants must complete the appropriate finding of suitability form and submit it with the Regulated Business Application Form to the MED. These forms are:
The Marijuana Finding of Suitability Application - Owner Entity: This is for any entity that holds a minimum of 10% interest of the Regulated Marijuana Business owner's interest, such as:
The Marijuana Finding of Suitability Application Form - Natural person: This form is required for any natural person who holds at least 10% interest of the Regulated Marijuana Business owner's interest. Such persons include managers, executive officers, or other individuals who can exercise control of the Regulated Marijuana Business.
Any owner entity submitting the owner entity suitability application must also fill out a natural person suitability application form and include it in their application submission.
A marijuana products manufacturer applicant must have their fingerprints taken and submit evidence of complete fingerprinting with their application. Applicants can engage the service of the MED-approved third-party fingerprint vendors in Colorado for fingerprinting. These vendors issue receipts for fingerprinting services rendered, which applicants can use as proof and submit with license applications to the MED.
Besides fingerprinting, a marijuana products manufacturer license applicant in Colorado must also meet specific state and federal employment requirements outlined by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). The CLDE also provides an employer checklist that prospective marijuana license holders in Colorado can use to ensure compliance with the Department’s laws and regulations. Since marijuana business is regulated, applicants must also obtain a state tax license suitable for their proposed marijuana products manufacturing facility.
The MED requires applicants to pay all requisite fees via checks or money orders and attach the payment proof with their applications. Any fee due to the local jurisdictions where applicants intend to operate their facilities must also be included in the applications but as a separate form of payment. Once the required application and license fees are paid, an applicant can submit their completed application forms and supporting documentation via mail to one of the following MED’s office locations:
Marijuana Enforcement Division
1697 Cole Blvd., Suite 200
Lakewood, CO 80401
Northern Regional Office
Marijuana Enforcement Division
275 South Main Street, Suite 101
Longmont, CO 80501
Southern Regional Office
Marijuana Enforcement Division
P.O. Box 15128
Colorado Springs, CO 80935
Western Slope Regional Office
Marijuana Enforcement Division
632 Market Street, Suite G3
Grand Junction, CO 81505
The Lakewood office of the MED is the only office that accepts walk-in application submissions. Applicants who opt to deliver their applications in person can do so between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. Marijuana products manufacturer applicants in Colorado can also use the online application portal. However, new users must sign up to enable them to use the portal. License applicants who choose the online application option do not need to download the Regulated Business License Application Form. The Marijuana Enforcement Division provides a quick guide for applicants who would prefer to apply for marijuana licenses online on their website.
Typically, the MED approves or denies a submitted marijuana license application between 45 and 90 days after receiving it. The MED advises prospective marijuana licensees to confirm that the local authority in the municipality they want to operate their facility permits marijuana businesses to avoid application denial. The MED keeps and updates a list of local authorities in Colorado that allow marijuana businesses in their jurisdiction.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) will not process any marijuana license application or renewal request unless the requisite payments are received. As stipulated in the emergency rules adopted by the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), effective July 2021, the application fee for a medical marijuana products manufacturer license is $1,000. Applicants also pay a $1,830 fee for licensing, putting the total cost at $2,830. For a retail (recreational) marijuana products manufacturer license in Colorado, applicants pay $5,000 as an application fee and $1,830 to cover the cost of licensing. Unlike the medical marijuana products manufacturer license, retail license fees are split and paid to both the state and local jurisdiction. While the state takes $4,940 from the total amount, $2,500 goes to the local jurisdiction an applicant intends to operate their retail marijuana products manufacturing facility.
Both medical and retail marijuana products manufacturer licensees pay a $300 fee as a license renewal application fee and $1,830 for license renewal. The widely used and acceptable payment means by the MED are checks and money orders, payable to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Applicants can also pay licensing fees via credit card authorization. Generally, the MED does not accept cash as a means of payment. An alternative payment option open to marijuana license applicants is an online payment option via a Colorado Interactive Payment System. The MED provides any applicant who chooses to pay online with online payment link options via email during their application.