Aurora, Colorado, the third largest city in the state, has recently approved 21 adult-use cannabis store licenses. There were 58 total applicants for 24 licenses. The remaining three licenses will be awarded later this year. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
In all, 13 separate companies were awarded operating permits, with several getting multiple licenses in different wards. The Green Solution, for example, was granted permits to open recreational marijuana stores in four of the city's six wards.
While Denver and other cities in Colorado started awarding licenses late in 2013 and earlier this year, Aurora took its time to develop local regulations.
The cannabis industry rollout in Colorado has gone remarkably well. Starting a cannabis industry from scratch is a monumental task, but Colorado, aided by a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system already in place, has seen a relatively smooth transition. Jobs have been created,revenue has been generated, violent crime is down, highway fatalities are at near-historic lows and a fewer percentage of teens are reporting using marijuana.
Colorado's implementation of a taxed and regulated cannabis system is a great example to follow. States can even learn from Colorado and even make improvements. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. will be voting on cannabis legalization this November, and hopefully all will be joining Colorado and Washington in taking a new approach.