Apply Online for a New Marijuana Business License or Permit

Effective Nov. 11, 2021, the Department of Excise and Licenses no longer accepts paper applications for most Denver marijuana business licenses. (Medical and retail marijuana testing facilities and medical marijuana research and development facilities will continue to use paper applications for new license applications, renewals, and amendments. Visit this page for paper applications for medical and retail marijuana testing facilities and medical marijuana research and development facilities.) 

Beginning Nov. 11, 2021, applications for marijuana business licenses - including new business license, renewal, modification of premises, change of location and change of ownership applications - must be submitted through Denver's Online Permitting and Licensing Center.   

When you complete the online permitting and licensing process, you will be issued a Certificate of Licensure.

Follow the step-by-step process below to apply.

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 can 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 can 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 can apply for: 

  • Medical marijuana delivery permit 
  • Retail marijuana delivery permit


Submit a New Marijuana Business License Application

Step 1.Watch our online training videos 

Our online training videos provide helpful and detailed overviews of the application processes. You can find the online training videos for marijuana licenses on our Online Training Videos webpage. There are training videos that show how to register for an account, how to complete Licensed Establishment and Entity Registration records, and how to apply for new business licenses or amendments.  

Step 2.Register for a new account 

Register for an account in Denver’s Permitting and Licensing Center. Please note: It is strongly recommended that applicants create separate accounts with separate email addresses and passwords for separate entities. It will make managing records under separate entities much easier.  

Step 3.Gather all required documents  

Applications for new business licenses must be complete and include all required information and documents. (See required information and documents below.) Remember:  

  • All materials must be digital files and saved as a .pdf or .jpg file. Do not include any other file types in your application. The Department of Excise and Licenses will not be able to accept other file types.
  • Legal documents included as part of the application must be properly signed and executed.
  • All materials must be legible.
  • In some cases, you may be required to combine documents and upload them in a single .pdf. You can use a free, online tool to merge documents into a single file.
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected. 

Step 4.Navigate to Denver's Online Permitting and Licensing Center 

In Denver’s Online Permitting and Licensing Center

  • Under Business, Short-Term Rental, and Occupational Licensing, click "Apply New."
  • Under All Other Business Licenses, click “Application Package” and “Continue Application.”
  • Read the introduction page and click “Continue.”

This will begin and guide you through the application process. You will be required to submit complete applications for:

  • A Licensed Establishment record, which will capture information about where your business operates;
  • An Entity Registration record, which will capture ownership information for your business; and 
  • Business File Number records, which will capture information about the business licenses included in your application package.

At any time during the application process, you can save and resume your application within 30 days. After 30 days, you will not be able to resume your application, and you will need to start again.  

Revisit our Online Training Videos webpage to help guide you through the application.

Note: If you are applying for multiple licenses at a single location or under a single entity name, you only need to complete the Licensed Establishment and Entity Registration records once. After you complete the initial Licensed Establishment and Entity Registration applications, you can add licenses to those records. Only crate new Licensed Establishment and Entity Registration records for new locations and new entities.

Step 5.Pay the required fees and submit the application 

When you submit a complete application package, you must pay the required application and license fees. (Visit our Fees for Marijuana License, Permit and Amendment Applications webpage for more information.) The application will not be put into a queue for review until the required fees are paid.  

The fees will be listed in your account under the “My Records” tab. In the right column, you will see a link to “Pay Fees Due.” Click "Pay Fees Due” and it will take you to the online payment screen. There might be multiple "Pay Fees Due." You will need to click on each of those separately to pay.  

  • You can pay your fees online with a Discover, Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card.
  • You can also pay online from a bank account. To make a payment from a bank account, you must have a routing number, account number, the account holder’s name, and the account type.

Note: Print a copy of the payment screen. A receipt will not be emailed or mailed to you. 

If you can only pay in cash, email EXLApplications@Denvergov.org, and request an invoice for your fees. A licensing technician will provide an invoice for you to pay in cash, in person.

Step 6.City application review and next steps

The department will review the city application and all required documents. The review might take 20 business days but could take longer depending on the volume of applications pending before the Department. After the city’s application review is complete, applicants must: 

  • 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 might take an additional 30 to 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. 

  • 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, you will receive an inspection notice to complete the required inspections. For more information on inspections, refer to the Inspection Process information below.  The Department will also require proof of state approval (a state license) before it issues a city license.

Step 7.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 8.License issuance 

A city licensing technician will update your record and you will receive an email with a new Certificate of Licensure. This is your business license. The Certificate of Licensure is also available in your online account.  

All applications will be administratively closed if they are not completed within 12 months.  

 

Applications for business licenses and amendments must be complete and include all required information and documents. Remember:   

  • All materials must be digital files and saved as a .pdf or .jpg file only. Do not include any other file types in your application. The Department of Excise and Licenses will not accept other file types.
  • Legal documents included as part of the application must be properly signed and executed.
  • All materials must be legible.
  • In some cases, you may be required to combine documents and upload them in a single .pdf. You can use a free, online tool to merge documents into a single file.
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected. 

Applicants can use this checklist(PDF, 56KB) to gather the required information and documents for their applications.  

Important: If you are applying for multiple licenses at a single location or under a single entity name, you only need to complete the Licensed Establishment and Entity Registration records once. After you complete the initial Licensed Establishment and Entity Registration applications, you can add licenses to those records. Only create new Licensed Establishment and Entity Registration records for new locations and new entities.   

For the Licensed Establishment Record, every applicant (with the exception of no-premises transporters and mobile hospitality businesses with no licensed premises in Denver) will provide: 

  • Any location name you may use to distinguish locations (if you have licenses at multiple locations, for example)
  • The name, position, date of birth, home address, phone number and email address for an onsite manager, who has the authority to make decisions regarding the licensed establishment and who has access to and control over the licensed establishment at all times (required for all applicants)
  • Zoning Use Permit or Acknowledgement of Zoning Use Permit form(PDF, 109KB); an Acknowledgement of Zoning Use Permit form may be used to submit a new license application. However, a new license will not be issued until the applicant provides a valid Zoning Use Permit. 
  • Proof of legal possession of the premises, valid for at least 90 days from the date a complete application is submitted. Only one of the following must be submitted:
    • A complete possession of property certificate(PDF, 905KB) (recommended); 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 floor plan that meets the requirements for marijuana licensing (see Floor Plan Requirements below)
  • A copy of Burglar Alarm Monitoring Contract
  • A copy of Burglar Alarm Permit

For the Entity Registration Record, every applicant will provide:  

  • Any trade names under which the entity operates
  • Information for every owner licensee (natural person and entity licensed by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division) associated with the license; this includes the name, home address, date of birth (or the date of incorporation of the entity), position, phone number, email address, percentage owned, state owner license number, relevant social equity qualification information, and voluntary demographic information for every owner. 
  • Please note: For owner-entities associated with the license, select “Holding Company” in the “Position” dropdown.  
  • A copy of a valid government-issued identification for each owner licensee (natural person) associated with the license, directly or through an entity
  • A copy of organizational documents or corporate governance documents (articles of incorporation, by-laws, operating or partnership agreement)

For the Business File Number (license) Record, applicants will provide:  

  • A valid, related state business license number
  • A Burglar Alarm Permit number (not required for no-premises transporters or mobile hospitality businesses with no licensed premises in Denver)
  • A business employer identification number
  • Proof of eligibility for any social equity licensee(PDF, 86KB) listed in the ownership structure (required only if social equity licensees are listed in the ownership structure)
  • A complete Social Impact Plan(PDF, 171KB)(must be on the city's provided template); required for every license (every license type, medical and retail)
  • A copy of the city sales tax license (required only for stores and hospitality and sales businesses)
  • A copy of the state sales tax license (required only for stores and hospitality and sales businesses)
  • Proof of an occupational privilege tax license (required only for transporters)
  • An odor control plan(PDF, 202KB) (required only for hospitality and hospitality and sales businesses)
  • health and sanitation plan(PDF, 176KB) (required only for hospitality, hospitality and sales, and mobile hospitality businesses that provide shared consumption devices to consumers)

Additional Information for Mobile Hospitality Business Licenses 

If you are applying for a mobile hospitality business license, you must apply for separate licenses for each mobile premises (vehicle) and you must provide:  

  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the vehicle
  • The license plate number
  • A copy of the vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance for the vehicle
  • Route logs that show pickup and drop-off locations and all stops in between

Additional Information for Off-Premises Storage Facility Licenses 

For a medical or retail marijuana off-premises storage facility application, you must provide:  

  • The related Denver marijuana Business File Number (BFN) associated with the new off-premises storage facility (e.g. the Business File Number for the store, cultivation, etc., associated with the off-premises storage facility)
  • The related State of Colorado marijuana business license number associated with the new off-premises storage facility (e.g. the state business license number for the store, cultivation, etc., associated with the off-premises storage facility)

Additional Information for Transporters Applying for Delivery Permits 

  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for each delivery motor vehicle
  • The license plate number for each delivery motor vehicle
  • Proof of insurance for each delivery motor vehicle (combined and uploaded in a single .pdf)
  • A copy of the business’ state delivery permit
  • A copy of the vehicle registration for each delivery motor vehicle (combined and uploaded in a single .pdf)  

Provide a floor plan, or multiple floor plans, drawn to scale on a standard 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper. It is preferred and strongly recommended that you submit plans that have been prepared digitally of plans prepared by a design professional. Separate floors must be shown on separate pieces of paper and clearly identified (i.e. Basement, First Floor, 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 Licenses Premises must be contiguous and outlined in red.
  • The intended Limited Access Areas must be contiguous and outlined in green.
  • Centers only: Each room that is Restricted Access Area must be clearly labeled as such and must identify POS 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.

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, they 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. Here is a non-comprehensive guide(PDF, 860KB) to common marijuana business license inspection requirements. 

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 only for 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 only for 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)