Marijuana

Inside New Marijuana Regulations That Change Fees, Reclassify Grow Houses

New regulations for medical and recreational marijuana businesses will go into effect today.

Renewal fees for medical marijuana licenses have decreased, and the way in which retail marijuana grow facilities are categorized has changed to be more specific; plant numbers are broken into smaller unit sizes. 

Overall, it's now more expensive to set up a dispensary that serves medical patients rather than one that sells only recreational cannabis. Initial application fees for medical centers range in cost from $6,000 to $14,000 and are separated into three tiers. After the initial application fee, businesses must pay additional licensing fees that need to be renewed annually.


There are five tiers for recreational distribution centers. Instead of being broken up by the number of patients served, the size of recreational marijuana dispensaries is determined by the number of plants grown there.

Any company with 1,800 plants or fewer is classified in the tier one range — and companies can grow up to 13,800 plants, a total that caps out the fifth tier. Many of the bigger dispensary chains in Colorado have reached that limit and are expanding their business to other states.

The new regulations also introduce management fees for each recreational tier. 
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Kate McKee Simmons interned at the National Catholic Reporter, was a reporter for the New York Post, and spent a brief stint in Israel learning international reporting before writing for Westword.