Apply for a New Marijuana Business License or Permit

What medical or retail marijuana licenses or permits does the city issue?

The city issues the following new medical or retail marijuana business licenses or permits:  

  • Medical marijuana delivery permit 
  • Medical marijuana products manufacturer license 
  • Medical marijuana testing facility license 
  • Medical marijuana transporter license 
  • Medical marijuana off-premises storage facility permit 
  • Marijuana research and development license 
  • Retail marijuana store license 
  • Retail marijuana delivery permit 
  • Retail marijuana cultivation facility license 
  • Retail marijuana products manufacturer license 
  • Retail marijuana testing facility license 
  • Retail marijuana transporter license 
  • Retail marijuana off-premises storage facility permit 

The city is no longer issuing new business licenses for:  

  • Medical marijuana stores 
  • Medical marijuana cultivation facilities

 

Who can apply for a new medical or retail marijuana business license or permit?

The following licenses are reserved for eligible Social Equity Applicants until July 1, 2027:  

  • Medical marijuana products manufacturer license 
  • Medical marijuana transporter license 
  • Marijuana hospitality business license (including a marijuana hospitality license with a mobile premises) 
  • Retail marijuana hospitality and sales business license 
  • Retail marijuana store license 
  • Retail marijuana cultivation facility license 
  • Retail marijuana products manufacturer license 
  • Retail marijuana transporter license  

Someone does not have to qualify as a Social Equity Applicant to apply for the following licenses and permits:  

  • Medical marijuana testing facility license 
  • Medical marijuana off-premises storage facility permit (a related license is required) 
  • Marijuana research and development license 
  • Retail marijuana testing facility license 
  • Retail marijuana off-premises storage facility permit (a related license is required) 
  • Delivery permit attached to a store license 
  • Applicants may apply for a retail marijuana business license that will be commonly owned and co-located with an existing medical marijuana business of the same type. For example, an existing medical marijuana products manufacturer may apply for a retail marijuana products manufacturer’s license that will be co-located and commonly owned.  

New and existing medical or retail marijuana store licensees, and new medical or retail marijuana transporter licensees who qualify as Social Equity Applicants may apply for: 

  • Medical marijuana delivery permit 
  • Retail marijuana delivery permit

 

Submit a New Marijuana Business License Application

Step 1.Complete and Submit State Applications

Submit a complete state marijuana business license application with all required documents and state fees to the state Marijuana Enforcement Division. The state Marijuana Enforcement Division collects a city application fee for retail licenses only, and the fee varies by retail license type. If you have questions about state fees, visit the state’s Information for Marijuana Licensees webpage or contact the Marijuana Enforcement Division.   

Note: Applicants must first submit a Finding of Suitability Application to the State Marijuana Enforcement Division to be found suitable for ownership. Do not submit a state Regulated Marijuana Business License application until you have submitted the suitability application and have been found suitable. Social Equity Applicants must be found eligible under the state criteria for Social Equity Licensees. If you have questions about state processes, contact the Marijuana Enforcement Division.   

Step 2.The State Will Send Your Application to Us

The state Marijuana Enforcement Division will send a copy of the state application (and the city application fee for retail licenses only) to Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses. 

Step 3.We'll Determine if You're Eligible for a City License

A city licensing technician will review the state application and all required documents. The Department will determine whether you are eligible to apply for a marijuana business license in Denver. The eligibility review does not guarantee that you will be issued a license. The review may take 10 business days but could take longer depending on the volume of applications pending before the Department. You will receive a communication from the Department rejecting the state application or you will be invited to submit a city application for a marijuana business license. 

Step 4.We'll Invite You to Complete and Submit a City Application

If you are eligible to apply, you must submit a completed New Marijuana Business License Application(PDF, 359KB)

You can make an appointment to submit an application in person or you can submit an application via email

Step 5.Pay the Required Fees

A city licensing technician will provide an invoice for medical application and license fees or retail license fees during or after application intake. Pay the required fee(s). (Information about fees can be found on our Fees for Marijuana License, Permit and Amendment Applications webpage.) Make checks payable to the "Manager of Finance." You may also pay in cash, or with a Visa, Discover or Mastercard.  

You can pay online. You can also make a payment over the phone by contacting Payments and Cashiering at 720-865-2780, Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If there is no answer, please leave a message and ask to be called back. Payments and Cashiering is also open for in-person payments Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Hours and days of operation are subject to change without notice.)  

Step 6.We'll Review Your Application

The department will review the city application and all required documents. The review may take 20 business days but could take longer depending on the volume of applications pending before the Department. If 30 business days pass and you would like to check on the status of your application, contact EXLApplications@Denvergov.org.  

Step 7.Complete a Public Needs and Desires Hearing (Not Required for All Licenses)

Marijuana stores, marijuana hospitality businesses, and retail marijuana hospitality and sales businesses must complete a public needs and desires hearing. It may take an additional 30-60 business days after the city application review for a public hearing to be scheduled and to occur. A licensing technician will notify the applicant when the hearing will be scheduled and provide the applicant with relevant hearing materials. A hearing officer will make a recommended decision after the hearing occurs.   

Step 8.Complete Inspections and Obtain State Approval

When the licensing technician’s review is complete and if a required needs and desires hearing results in a recommended approval of the new business license, the licensing technician will provide you with an inspection notice to complete the required inspections. For more information on inspections, refer to the Inspection Process information below. The state Marijuana Enforcement Division will also receive a copy of your inspection notice. This notifies the state agency that your business license has been conditionally approved by the department (pending completion of inspections). The Department will require proof of state approval (a state license) before it issues a city license.  

Step 9.Email Excise and Licenses

After you complete the required city inspections, e-mail EXLApplications@denvergov.org with:  

  • Your Business File Number(s) (BFNs)
  • Proof of state approval for your state business license(s)
  • A request to issue your new city business license(s)

Step 10.We'll Issue Your License 

The city will email you a copy of your local license.

The following forms and documents are required. Applications must be complete and include all required documents. Legal documents included as part of this application must be properly signed and executed. All materials must be legible. Incomplete applications will be rejected. 

  • A complete New Marijuana Business License Application(PDF, 359KB)
  • A copy of a valid government-issued identification for each Owner Licensee associated with the license (required) 
  • Proof of eligibility for any Social Equity Licensee listed in the ownership structure (required only if Social Equity Licensees are listed in the ownership structure)
  • A copy of organizational documents or corporate governance documents (required)
  • A copy of the organizational chart, including the identity and ownership percentage of all Owner Licensees (required)
  • A valid Zoning Use Permit (for the new location); or
  • A copy of the burglar alarm monitoring contract (required for all license types except for transporters with no licensed premises)
  • A copy of the burglar alarm permit (required for all license types except for transporters with no licensed premises)
  • A copy of the city sales tax license (required only for stores)
  • A copy of the state sales tax license (required only for stores)
  • An occupational privilege tax license (required only for transporters)
  • Proof of Legal Possession of the Premises; only one of the following must be submitted:
  • A complete Possession of Property Certificate(PDF, 905KB); or
  • A deed; or
  • A complete, unredacted lease, including all amendments; if leased, the owner must provide written consent to lease the property to a marijuana facility, and the lease must be valid for at least 90 days from the date a complete application is submitted.
  • A complete Social Impact Plan form(PDF, 171KB); required for every license (every license type, medical and retail)
  • A floor plan of the proposed premises (see the requirements below; required for all license types except transporters with no licensed premises).

Floor Plan Requirements 

Provide a floor plan, or multiple floor plans, drawn to scale on a standard 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper. It is strongly recommended that you submit digitally designed floor plans or plans prepared by a design professional. Separate floors must be shown on separate pieces of paper and clearly identified (e.g. Basement, First Floor, Mezzanine, etc.) Your floor plan must be complete and accurate. The submission must include: 

  • The physical layout of the establishment with the legibly labeled principal uses of each room in the premises.
  • The legible identification of all security cameras and DVR locations.
  • The intended Licensed Premises must be contiguous and outlined in red.
  • The intended Limited Access Areas must be contiguous and outlined in green.
  • Stores only: Each room that is in the Restricted Access Area must be clearly labeled as such and must identify point-of-sale and sales counter locations.
  • If you choose to submit multiple floor plans to satisfy all of the requirements outlined above, the physical layout and room uses must be identical for each floor plan showing the same section of the premises.

Definitions 

  • Licensed Premises: The premises in possession of the Licensee and within which the Licensee is authorized to cultivate, manufacture, distribute, sell, store, transport, or test marijuana.
  • Limited Access Area: The contiguous area within the Licensed Premises where marijuana is grown, cultivated, stored, weighed, packaged, or processed.
  • Restricted Access Area: The area within the Licensed Premises where marijuana is sold, possessed for sale, or displayed for sale.

 

During or after application intake, you will receive an invoice for each application or license fee.  

Make checks payable to the "Manager of Finance." You may also pay in cash, or with a Visa, Discover or Mastercard. You can pay online. You can also make a payment over the phone by contacting Payments and Cashiering at 720-865-2780, Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If there is no answer, please leave a message and ask to be called back. Payments and Cashiering is also open for in-person payments Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Hours and days of operation are subject to change without notice.)

 

Inspection Status 

Check your inspection status in our online Permitting and Licensing Center.  

Inspection Process and Information 

When a licensing technician’s review of your change of location application is complete, the licensing technician will provide you with an inspection notice to complete the required inspections. We strongly recommend that you engage professionals to ensure you’re in compliance with building, zoning, public health and fire prevention requirements. A non-comprehensive guide(PDF, 860KB) to common marijuana business license inspection requirements can be found here. 

Inspecting agencies will digitally pass or fail your inspections. All inspecting agencies must pass your inspections before the Department can close your change of location records.  

Inspections vary by license type. For example, the Environmental Quality inspects for only certain license types (cultivation and manufacturing facilities). In general, the following inspections are required for most new marijuana business license applications:

Community Planning & Development: Zoning and Neighborhood Inspections  

Community Planning & Development: Building Inspections Division  

Fire Prevention  

Public Health & Environment: Public Health Inspections Division; inspection required for only stores, manufacturing, testing, transporter, and off-premises storage facilities  

  • Schedule an inspection by calling 311 (if outside of Denver, call 720-913-1311)  

Public Health & Environment: Environmental Quality; inspection required for only cultivation and manufacturing facilities  

  • Schedule an inspection by calling 311 (if outside of Denver, call 720-913-1311)  

Excise and Licenses (this cannot be scheduled until all other inspections have passed)  

  • Schedule an inspection by calling 311 (if outside of Denver, call 720-913-1311)