Medical (2000)
Decriminalized (2012)
Recreational (2012)

Current Status

The main requirement for owning any (medical or recreational) marijuana business is you need to be a current resident of the state of Colorado and have been living there for at least 2 years prior to applying for a license. Although, the regulations are not so black and white in regards to foreign entities as well as foreign investment coming into the state’s marijuana industry. So there may be opportunities for foreigners to have a hand in a business. But the state has given precedence to completely home-grown companies.

In Pueblo County (Southern Colorado), any graduating high school senior that will attend either Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo is eligible to apply for the country’s first cannabis-funded college scholarship. The scholarship’s first full year of funding will provide up to $475,000 gathered from Pueblo’s cannabis tax and give each qualifying student roughly a $1,000 scholarship.

Medical Marijuana

State statute authorizes the MED to issue four classes (types) of Medical Marijuana Business Licenses:

  1. A Medical Marijuana Center License
  2. Medical Marijuana Infused Product Manufacturer License
  3. Medical Marijuana Optional Premises Cultivation License
  4. Medical Marijuana Testing Facility License

Each facility is authorized to engage only in the type of activity for which it is licensed.

Patient Registry or ID Cards Program?
102,283 adults + 337 minors
Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment


A facility which cultivates Medical Marijuana will have a Medical Marijuana Optional Premises Cultivation license. There are no Independent Medical Marijuana Optional Premises Cultivation (OPC) Licenses – these facilities must be associated with either a Medical Marijuana Center or Infused Product Manufacturer facility and may only provide their product to that specific entity.

Cannabis Grow Limit:
Any adult resident of Colorado may grow up to 6 plants per person, with no more than 3 plants in the mature/flowering stage at any time. Non-Colorado residents may not cultivate cannabis.
No more than 12 total plants are allowed per residence regardless of the number of adults living there. Cannabis plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area out of view. Homegrown cannabis may not be sold to others.

Cannabis Possession Limit:
Colorado residents may purchase and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana at a time. Non-Colorado residents are limited to 1/4 ounce.
A patient’s medical use of marijuana is lawful within the following limits:

  • No more than 2 ounces of a usable form of marijuana;
  • No more than 6 plants, with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants that producing a usable form of marijuana.

Cultivation must happen on site of a medical marijuana center (dispensary) or manufacturer facility.


A medical marijuana Infused product manufacturer is a facility which produces Medical Marijuana infused products such as: edibles, concentrates (hash), tinctures or beverages. These facilities are only authorized to wholesale their products to MED licensed Medical Marijuana Centers (C.R.S. §12-43.3-404)


A Medical Marijuana Testing Facility is a Facility which conducts testing and research on Medical Marijuana for MED Medical Marijuana business Licensees. The facility may develop and test Medical Marijuana products.


As of June 1, 2016, 530 medical marijuana dispensaries known as “centers” operated in the state of Colorado. Its a facility from which Medical Marijuana Registry patients purchase Medical Marijuana and Medical Marijuana infused products.

Owners of this type of facility must also own and operate at least one Medical Marijuana Cultivation and produce a minimum of 70% of all on-hand inventory.

The state has also removed the restriction of requiring applicants for retail licenses to have already been licensed and operational in the medical marijuana side of the industry.

Colorado was the 7th state to legalize medical marijuana on November 7, 2000.

Important Cannabis Laws

Amendment 20 (2000) : changes to the state constitution state to legalize medical marijuana.

HB 1284 (2010) : license commercial businesses for the distribution and production of medical cannabis, but also impose new restrictions on patients, caregivers, and doctors.

Amendment 20 to Colorado’s State Constitution – Codified in Article 18, Section 14 5 CCR (Code of Colorado Regulations) 1006-2: Medical use of marijuana

Colorado Revised Statutes 18-18-406.3 –  Medical use of marijuana by persons diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions — unlawful acts — penalty — medical marijuana program cash fund.

Colorado Revised Statute 25-1.5-106 – Medical marijuana program — powers and duties of department.

HB 1284 (2010) – Medical Marijuana regulations

HB 1043 (2011) – Medical Marijuana program

SB 109 (2010) – Medical Marijuana Doctor/Patient Relations

SB 14 (2015) – Caregiver registration with the Marijuana Enforcement Division

HB 1371 (2016) – Created protections for children and their parents from being punished for possessing and consuming their medical cannabis on campus or not being admitted into a school based on their medical cannabis patient status

SB 40 (2016) – Marijuana Owner Changes

HB 1034 (2017) – Concerning licensing changes to the medical marijuana code to conform with the retail marijuana code.

Amalgamated Regulations (Effective Nov. 30, 2015)

Registry Regulations

Petition Form to add Qualifying Conditions