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Colorado Cannabis Regulation Compliance Overview

Colorado:  Adult-use cannabis since 2014


Colorado Cannabis Regulatory Overview

On November 6, 2012, California voters passed Amendment 64, amending the state constitution to  "declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons twenty‐one years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol."  Colorado's first adult-use cannabis sales occurred on January 1, 2014 pursuant to a system of statutes and regulations that have been revised multiple times since that date.

Colorado Cannabis License Overview

Colorado has a number of different types of cannabis licenses corresponding to different sectors of the industry.  Within the cultivation category, there are also different sub-license depending on volume.  These license types are (1) marijuana cultivator licenses; (2) marijuana products manufacturing licenses; (3) marijuana retailer licenses; (4) marijuana testing facility licenses; (5) marijuana transporter licenses; and (6) marijuana operator licenses (entities providing professional operational services to other licensed businesses). 

Colorado Cannabis Key Regulator

Colorado's primary marijuana regulator is the Colorado Department of Revenue - Enforcement Division.

Colorado Cannabis Locality Options

Local communities have the ability under Colorado's cannabis laws to opt-out of permitting legal commercial activity and to conduct their own regulation.  Of particular interest, the City of Denver has adopted rules pursuant to Denver ballot Initiative 300 to grant licenses for cannabis consumption establishments and cannabis consumption special event licenses.