A marijuana research and development license in Colorado is a marijuana business license that permits the holder to cultivate, possess, or transfer marijuana for limited research purposes. The research purposes that will receive a marijuana research and development license in Colorado are:
Marijuana research and development license holders in Colorado are statutorily allowed to grow marijuana (cultivators) or obtain it via donations or sales from another license holder. Marijuana research and development license holders are not permitted to obtain marijuana from other businesses or sell it to consumers. To qualify for a marijuana research and development license, the applicant must provide the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) with a detailed description of the research being undertaken.
A marijuana research and development license is issued by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), a Specialized Business Group regulator of the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR). House Bill 17-1367, which came into effect on July 1, 2018, created the marijuana research and development license to facilitate more in-depth research into marijuana. The Bill also established the MED as the regulatory authority that oversees marijuana research and development licensing, in addition to the licensing of other marijuana businesses, in Colorado. Section 44-10-507 of the Colorado Revised Statutes regulate the issuance of marijuana research and development licenses to eligible applicants.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division has issued one marijuana research and development license in Colorado so far, and this was to MedPharm, a Denver-based medical marijuana company.
Applications for marijuana research licenses in Colorado are received and processed by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). To apply for a marijuana research license, the applicant must complete the business license application form and the marijuana research and development facility addendum (Addendum D). Applicants must ensure to complete the accompanying forms for:
Applicants must also pay the application fee and any requisite local jurisdiction fees. (Information on any applicable local jurisdiction fees is contained in the application form). Successful applicants will be required to pay a license fee to receive their licenses. Licenses are valid for one year and must be renewed annually for the license holder to retain their statutory rights. Applicants must submit, as part of their applications, a detailed description of the research activities being conducted and detail their source of funds - private or public.
Applicants who intend to use public funds must submit their applications for a review by the Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council. The Council shall assess the application to determine the project’s quality, study design, value, and/or impact on society. The Council shall also ascertain if the applicants possess the required personnel and expertise, facilities, infrastructure, funding, and approvals to conduct the research project. The Council shall pronounce if the quantity of cannabis to be grown for the project is consistent with the objectives. The Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council will also review all reports submitted by the license holder to determine if the project maintains the statutory research requirements. The Council will provide the Marijuana Enforcement Division with its conclusions which will affect any license renewal applications received by the Division. Applicants who intend to use private funding for their research projects are only required to submit their applications to the Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Applications for a marijuana research and development license can be submitted online, or by mail, or in person. Mail and in-person applications should be submitted to:
Marijuana Enforcement Division
ATTN: Business licensing
1707 Cole Boulevard
Lakewood, CO 80401
License holders are required to complete a renewal application before the expiration date of their previous license. Legislative changes in 2019 eliminated the 90-day “grace period” previously allotted to license holders to submit their renewal applications. License holders must submit their renewal application forms, any supporting documents, and required fees to the Marijuana Enforcement Division. A license is rendered invalid if the holder fails to submit a completed renewal application prior to the expiry date of their previous license. Invalidated marijuana research and development licenses can neither be renewed nor reinstated; the license holder must submit a fresh application and fulfill all other obligations to regain their statutory rights.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division charges a fee of $1,000 to process marijuana research and development license applications. Successful applicants must pay license fees of $1,830 before receiving their marijuana research and development licenses. A Colorado marijuana research and development license is valid for one year and requires annual renewals. Renewal applications for marijuana research licenses must be submitted before the expiration date of the previous license. License renewal applications carry a $300 fee that must be submitted with the application forms. Successful applicants must pay a fee of $1,830 to receive their renewed licenses.
There are no statutory restrictions that prevent a holder of a marijuana research and development license from possessing other marijuana business licenses. Holders of marijuana research and development licenses need only satisfy the statutory requirements to possess other marijuana business licenses.