Colorado: More Than 100 Recreational Marijuana Shops Ready To Open Jan. 1


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado could have more than 100 recreational marijuana stores open for business on January 1, according to the latest numbers from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The division reports that it accepted 136 applications in October from prospective cannabis shop owners, along with 28 applications for recreational cannabis-infused products businesses and 174 applications for recreational cultivation facilities, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post.

The decision will be made by the end of the year for all businesses which applied for marijuana licenses in October, according to Marijuana Enforcement Division spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait.

Under Amendment 64, Colorado's marijuana legalization law, all of the applications had to come from people already operating medical marijuana businesses in the state. (After six months, the application process will be open to everyone.) Colorado has 517 medical marijuana dispensaries, 138 medicinal cannabis infused products businesses, and 736 medical marijuana cultivation facilities, according to the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The expense of applying for recreational marijuana licenses limited the number of applicants, according to Meg Collins, executive director of the Cannabis Business Alliance. Application fees start at $500 and licensing fees are between $2,7509 and $14,000. Application fees along brought in about $179,000 in October, according to Postlethwait.

Only two applicants indicated they would fully convert to recreational marijuana sales, according to Postlethwait. The rest plan to operate as both medical and recreational marijuana stores. Some of them will be required to separate the recreational and medicinal shops with a wall, and provide separate entrances.

Local bans have also kept the number of recreational license applications down, according to Mike Elliott, executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group.