The State of Colorado has approved business licenses for 348 legal, recreational marijuana businesses. In total, there were 136 licenses for retail outlets, 178 for grow facilities, 31 for product manufacturing facilities, and 3 for testing facilities. A huge majority of the licenses were issued to businesses in and around Denver.
These businesses must also get local approval before they can open, so they may or may not have more hoops to jump through before opening on January 1st. As of right now, there will be a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales, plus a 10 percent sales tax, in addition to the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax, plus any local taxes that may be added on. According to the Marijuana Enforcement's press release:
These licensed businesses have gone through the state's rigorous Retail Marijuana licensing process, which includes the submission of required documentation, fingerprint-based background checks, financial checks and payment of licensing fees. It is important to note that these businesses must also receive approval from the local authority within whose jurisdiction the business is located before they may begin operating their Retail Marijuana Establishments - which means they may or may not open January 1, 2014. Local jurisdictions also have the right
to choose whether to allow Retail Marijuana business within their county or city limits at this time.
The Department of Revenue began accepting Retail Marijuana business applications on October 1, 2013, from existing Medical Marijuana businesses in good standing with the State. In accordance with state law, the Department of Revenue must take final action on a Retail Marijuana Establishment's license application within 90 days of submission. Final action means the application must either be approved or denied within this time frame.
"It has taken an enormous team effort to be able to issue state licenses in the timelines identified in Amendment 64. This could not have been possible without the collaboration of all of the members of the Task Force, the Legislature, and interested stakeholders. The Division takes its responsibility very seriously and will continue to ensure a robust and effective regulatory and enforcement program. Thank you to everyone who has contributed their time, effort and expertise." said Barbara Brohl, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue.
To read the full press release, including the license and location breakdown, go to this link here.