Launch a Cannabis business (Colorado)

Colorado was the first state to legalise recreational cannabis and has generated over $1.5 billion in sales. This makes Colorado a great place to launch your Cannabis business. The government portal for licence application is easy to navigate and they offer licences for cannabis retailers, growers, product manufacturers, testing facilities, transporters, and professional operating services.

Register your business

Just like any other business, forming an LLC or corporation requires registering with the state, appointing a registered agent, and choosing governors (such as directors, officers, members or managers). Once registered you will need to keeping compliant with general state business requirements such as filing annual reports. Everyone involved in your proposed business must have clean criminal histories. They must also be at least 21 years old and a Colorado resident for at least two years. The next thing to do to legally start your business is to register an EIN with the IRS. EIN stands for an employer identification number. It is basically your social security number for your business. This is how the IRS tracks your income and expenses and you will need it to do anything with the business. Once you have your EIN, you can sign up to vendors, create a business bank account, get a business credit card, etc.

Obtaining a license

The first step to getting a cannabis business license is completing relevant . You can find out more information on the . Which forms you need will depend on what type of business you intend to open. Once all applications have been filled out and all necessary fees are paid, you will need an appointment with the Marijuana Enforcement Division. You’ll need to bring copies of all documentation, every part-owner of the potential business, and personal identification (such as a drivers’ license or passport) for all parties under the application. Once approved, owners will be fingerprinted and will then pay the state application/licensing fee along with the Local Authority Application fee.

State fees:

  • Retail Marijuana Cultivation: $4,000
  • Retail Marijuana Transporter: $4,900
  • Retail Marijuana Operator: $2,700
  • Annual renewal fees (ranging from $1,100-$5,300

Accelerate your business

An article on launching a cannabis business in Colorado would not be complete without mentioning CanopyBoulder. If you plan to launch a business focusing on ancillary products and services to the cannabis industry then I would strongly advice speaking to them to see if they can help accelerate your business. There 106 Alumni companies have raised over $100 million of finance and this has helped to create some of the best businesses in the sector. Visit the to find out whether this options suits your business.

Colorado was the first out the blocks which has afforded the state with the first mover advantage. We are already seeing some huge success stories from the businesses founded here. If you have been a resident of Colorado for the last 2 years, are over 21 years old and have a clean criminal history — what are you waiting for?