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Starting A Dispensary -Colorado

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana News' started by Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana, Jun 24, 2009.

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana Well-Known Member


    I am a caregiver for more than 20 people and am looking at opening a dispensary for these folks, as well as I am a licensed MM user myself (broke neck & back). I want to open a dispensary in colorado and am trying to figure out what licenses are needed other than a business license. Like city, county, or other. Plus any permits that may be needed. I want to do this according to Amendment 20. and want to make sure all taxes are collected and paid. Any help anyone can offer would be of great appreciation.

    Please respond only if you know what you are talking about or are a dispensary owner. Thank you!

    Best Regards,

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana

    Purplecheeser Well-Known Member

    If we vote to legalize marijuana, then thats no profit for us :)
    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana Well-Known Member

    Now that was a real help cheese. I took this name because at the time we (denver, colorado) was voting to legalize marijuana.
    KAL EL

    KAL EL Well-Known Member

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your thoughts on this. I am now seeing how much a pain it is. I have already been to the link you provided, but thanks any way for it.

    I stopped in at the Denver Department of Excise & Licenses and was told that when I apply for my business license they will help me to get the proper business license. But was also told that after I get my business license that I will also need to contact the following for more licenses & permits:

    Health Dept.
    Fire department.
    Permit dept.
    Zoning Department
    Public Works Department
    Treasury Division

    or I can write or call for free :
    Vic Grassman, Business Development Specialist,
    at 720-913-1624 or [email protected]
    Who will help me through the process.

    A lot of work for sure, not to mention looking over my shoulder for the Feds. once business is up and running.

    KAL EL

    KAL EL Well-Known Member

    You could always ask other dispensaries, someone might help ya out.
    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana Well-Known Member

    I made over 15 calls to other dispensaries and they were all running an illegal operation. In other words none of them were licensed or carried the proper permits. As well they were rude and foulded mouth.
    KAL EL

    KAL EL Well-Known Member

    It almost seems like a grey area...
    not legal nor illegal.
    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana

    Vote 2 Legalize Marijuana Well-Known Member

    According to Amendment 20 it's all legal as long as you are the designated caregiver. What makes it illegal is when you set up shop in a commercial building with out the proper permits like zoning, fire, and health. Not to metion collecting & paying taxes as well.

    I went out today and got my business license and paid for my first 6 months of rent on my store front and on the building where I'll be doing my grow.

    The Zoning dept. will be issuing me my permits real soon. I also set up my appointments with the Fire Department and Health department and hope to pass with those folks as well. Still much more to do though, but I'm on my way!

    bluepits2000 Member

    Let me know how it goes. I plan on opening one in Michigan and could really use the help.:leaf:


    ant.stack Member

    Vote 2,

    The city likes to see things complicated but It's really pretty simple... the Laws regarding selling and being a caretaker are so limited that no one really knows what to tell you... thats a good thing. your permits and licenses are going to be limited. you need register as a buisnes entity so you can pay taxes (local, state, federal). other then that you just need to make sure your place is zoned for the type of business you are doing... I'm not 100% sure but i would guess that it would be retail. the Health Dept is only concerned with food. The fire dept just wants to know that no one is going to get trapped in your place if it burns down. You just have to check with zoning to make sure your in the right part of town. Public works is not going to bother you if it was something else before you moved in. The treasury dept has nothing to do with you opening and i don't even know what the permit dept is... every dept issues it's own permits if necessary.

    I know this stuff because i am trying to open a nightclub in Aurora and, as you might guess, that is like navigating land minds when it comes to licenses and permits... If your not building something from the ground up then it really shouldn't be a hard process. Get yourself an accountant and most of the headaches will go away

    hope that help easy your mind a bit.

    GypsyBush likes this.

    Greenmountaingroup Active Member

    The BEST thing I could suggest is to get a GOOD Lawyer. We are completely licensed and operating within all of our City, County, and State municipalities. The other important thing is to be sure to register with your local City "Sales Tax and Use" Dept.. Make sure to file your taxes on time with the city, be it Monthly, or Quarterly.

    I am not sure what 15 Dispensaries in the Denver area you called or are referring to, but I do know of several that are operating within 100% of all the guidelines. Running a Dispensary isn't that difficult. It is just another business that is evolving. I own several other businesses in the Denver area and the Dispensary is no more or less difficult to run that the others.....IMO.


    Phenom420 Well-Known Member

    Yeah EXCEPT a night club doesn't sell weed... legally at any rate, this guy wants to be as legal as possible, he wants SOLID advise not shaky at best.
    Get an atourney, SERIOUSLY, you will most likely need one at some point anyways, so might as well have one handy. If you already paid 6 months rent you want to make sure you can be open that long, to atleast make that back. Don't just get a business license and open up, a weed shop is suppose to be more like a rx store (regualted) so yeah your gonna need some permits and licenses.

    Good luck "Bud"if I was in your state I would love to be your first umm patient... lol

    farmerbob Well-Known Member

    It's really not that hard. There is considerable startup cost, however, think about $20,000 not counting medicine. Right off the bat you should get a lawyer and accountant. Decide your business structure, i.e. non-profit, llc, sole-proprietorship, etc. Obtain Federal Employer ID #, also you need a CO State Business license and local sales tax permits. If you sell edibles you need FDA and state food licenses (not 100% about your area). You need a clear plan on how to deal with new patients, keep current ones, have enough medicine so you are covered both legally and dont run out. You can call us and check out our facility, we're in the Springs. We do everything by the book, 2 lawyers come in monthly just to make sure. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.

    **Note~ Lately, I have been in some serious discussions involving the taxation of medicine. No other medication is taxed in the US, however cannabis is being taxed in Colorado, mostly to keep the heat off. We pay several $thousand each month in sales tax, but morally, I don't know if I feel right about taxing a necessity. I hope this is cleared up soon.**

    Mark1115 Member

    I'd like to help you out. I am a cardholder, and I have started several small businesses in Denver, including one that focuses on permitting for developments, new businesses, etc. I know the zoning department, fire department, building departments well. I also own an art gallery with my wife. I have been thinking about setting up a dispensary myself but would like to do it with someone as my growing skills are probably not up to what they would need to be.... BUT, I can run a business and have been navigating bureaucratic minefields for 10+ years.

    Also, to the guy starting an aurora nightclub, we should talk. I can probably help you out too. Let me know.
    pikes peak 69

    pikes peak 69 Well-Known Member

    ALWAYS have an Attorney with you when trying to set a business up.
    And yes I would recommend talking to City Counsel. Hit them up with ideas. Like may be they have a vacant building that you could lease for a low fee. Offer to have law enforcement come check your place out at will (may cut down or eliminate robberies). Get on a bus route. There are many advantages to having the city behind you if you can make that happen and an Attorney would be able to help you approach the City.
    Good Luck and much success.



    billyde Member

    Is there an organization for dispensaries in Colorado? Some type of group that meets / discusses online ... and kicks around ideas that might help the business as a whole?

    I too am looking to open a dispensary. I'm finding that there's a lack of solid info online about the process.

    Reeny Well-Known Member

    At this point I would recommend waiting till after the big meeting on Jan 4th. Our state law makers are working on changing up the system. It will especially hit dispensaries if Sen Romer gets his way.

    I recomment three websites to help stay in touch with the legal/political process over the next few months. Keep an eye on




    Between these three there is a great deal of the same news but I find with all of them I miss very little. Also http://www.cannabistherapyinstitute.com/ is a great place to get information about local events like the recent Cannabis Health Fair as well as the rally on Dec 26th at the capital building.

    menfromvm Member


    BudBrokerz Member

    Why bother with all the red tape...I have opened 13 dispensaries in Denver. I have never been visited by any officials from the city. Its just more money out of your pocket and more red flags attatched to your name. Just go for it...Cha Ching

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