Only 6 months into the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, things are about to change.
Starting July 1st, Colorado is taking applications for recreational marijuana “specialty” business. Previously, Only owners of medical marijuana shops could open recreational marijuana shops in the state. Also, all business had to grow, package, and sell there own marijuana, a “seed to Sale” model. These new licenses will allow businesses to open in October of this year.
Starting this month, newcomers to the marijuana business can now apply for a license for a Colorado recreational marijuana business, and all recreational marijuana business can now “specialize”. What that means is that a farm can grow marijuana and then sell it to a separate business that will process and packedge it, and then sell that packaged product to a retail establishment that can sell it to the public, and those can all be separate businesses.
What effect this will have on the Colorado’s recreational marijuana business has yet to be seen. Although one might expect this to cause recreational marijuana stores to pop up like Starbucks… that probably will not happen. Currently, Many cities in Colorado still have bans on recreational marijuana businesses. Others, like Aurora, have caps on the number of recreational marijuana businesses that will be allowed. And still others, like Denver, have moratoriums on new stores (Denver will not be accepting applications from newcomers until 2016).
Colorado has also seen a lower then expected demand for recreational marijuana. Although the state has declared more the $200 million in sales in the first 4 months of legalization, over half of that has come from medical marijuana dispensaries. However, Colorado has stated that in the first 6 months of the legalization of recreational marijuana, the state has collected more then $11 million in marijuana taxes