How to Start a Marijuana Delivery Service in Colorado

Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado for a while, paving the way for many other states to follow. In 2000 the green light was given to the medical marijuana program, while in 2012 the vote was made to allow a recreational marijuana program as well.

The following conditions are some of those that qualify for medical treatment with medical cannabis:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • PTSD

Currently, cannabis delivery is prohibited in Colorado. However, a bill recently introduced in the Colorado Senate last week would allow residents to get weed delivered at home. If the measure passes, dispensaries could apply for a delivery endorsement, then have an employee or approved contractor make the runs. Daily purchase limits of one once per day for recreational users and 2 ounces for medical users would still apply. Delivery would be available to private residences, but not for public spaces, dormitories, hotels, or commercial businesses.

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What kind of cannabis business can I open in Colorado?

cannabis store
Cannabis Store

As long as the applicant is 21 years old (or older) and can pass a criminal record check that looks for excluded felony offenses, in Colorado they are allowed to open a retail marijuana store, marijuana product manufacturers, cultivators, testing facilities, and extraction services. In the near future, there may be delivery businesses allowed as well, assuming the Senate bill is passed.

Medical cannabis was legalized in Colorado 17 years ago, while recreational marijuana was legalized about five years ago. This was called Amendment 64 and, of course, only applies to individuals who are 21 years of age or more.

Colorado’s marijuana market

Since the program has been around for a while, there are a relatively high number of marijuana businesses already up and running in the state of Colorado. These include 14 testing facilities, 250 infused product manufacturers, 776 cultivation centers, and 520 centers within the medical marijuana field.

In terms of recreational marijuana, there are also plenty of Licensed Retail Marijuana Businesses: 13 testing facilities, 257 product manufacturers, 667 cultivation centers, and 479 stores.

Owner requirements

Colorado’s law allows counties and cities to set rules for growers and sellers. They’re allowed to ban marijuana businesses, including delivery services. Save yourself some trouble by checking the local laws first.

License requirements

The licensing process has changed, as of May of 2016. The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses is no longer allowed to process new licenses for cannabis businesses. The new process of selecting applications for licenses involves a lottery process.

Anyone interested in starting a cannabis business in a new location will need to go through the application process. An application form will have to be completed, and any required documents and payments must be turned in to the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) at the same time. The validity of your application will be determined by the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, which is where a copy of your application documents will go via the MED.

License requirements
License requirements – Image powered by

Rejected applicants will receive a notice in the mail from the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. Successful applicants will be informed in a similar manner, and should then file a licensing application.

There could be legal and regulatory differences in the specific location an applicant plans to start a cannabis business. According to Colorado law, each city and/or county can choose to make their own rules for cannabis business owners. Be sure to inform yourself about these local rules.

Financial requirements

There is quite a bit of variation across the state of Colorado when it comes to starting a marijuana business. The location is the greatest determining factor. For a glimpse of the price range possible, a 2-year Retail Marijuana Transporter license could cost anywhere between $500 and $4,900.

For that reason, it’s important to find out how much application and other fees will cost. Do this before you have even applied, as applying successfully only to find out that you are unprepared financially would be devastating.

How much does a delivery service make?

Delivery Service
Delivery Service – Image powered by

Marijuana dispensaries can easily make $50,000 a year, and it is assumed that delivery services can expect similar profits.


Starting a marijuana business can take some time. Allow at least a year to acquire licenses, line up suppliers and hire employees.

Looking to start a marijuana delivery service in Colorado? These consulting firms can help you understand state licensing requirements, complete applications and get your business running.

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