Marijuana Licenses for Low-Income Entrepreneurs Closer to Reality

Colorado marijuana regulators are closer to creating new business licenses for eligible entrepreneurs who lack funding, with the micro-license applications expected to become available early next year.

Securing a marijuana license has proven to be a costly, lengthy venture for a startup business in Colorado, with most licensing opportunities in Denver and other metro communities drying up because of market saturation and local license moratoriums.

The Colorado Legislature passed several laws over the last two years to address the lagging social equity and diversity in the state’s legal pot trade, including measures loosening marijuana employment restrictions for former drug felons and giving Governor Jared Polis the power to pardon former low-level pot possession charges. The micro-license was one of Colorado lawmakers’ early social equity efforts, but it has taken a while to develop.

Created through a 2019 law that overhauled the state’s medical and recreational marijuana regulations, the licenses are intended to raise social equity within commercial pot by making business permits more accessible to those harmed by the War on Drugs. However, a year after the law took effect, applications still aren’t being accepted as the state Marijuana Enforcement Division continues holding rulemaking hearings, with the most recent meeting providing a window into the MED’s progress.

The new micro-license applications are now expected to be ready by January 1, 2021, according to the MED, and could be used for marijuana dispensaries, growing operations and infused-product manufacturing. [Read More @ Westword]

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