Colorado to Award First Medical Marijuana Center License

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After months of due diligence, Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division is set to issue its first dispensary license under the state’s tough new rules.

Officials will present the license to the dispensary at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday during a meeting of the Denver Medical Marijuana Workgroup, which seeks to bring together lawmakers, city licensing representatives and MMJ professionals to foster better communication in the industry. The press release announcing the development – released by MMIG, a trade and lobbying organization – does not name the dispensary or provide any other details, such as how long the process took.

It marks a watershed moment for medical marijuana in Colorado, which overhauled its regulatory and licensing framework this year to ensure government oversight and prevent the industry from spiraling out of control. The transition has been difficult for everyone involved. Dispensaries, growers and related businesses must meet a host of new regulations covering everything from security and opening hours to the transportation of marijuana and hiring workers. In many cases, dispensary owners have had to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to comply with the new rules.

Colorado currently has about 740 medical marijuana dispensaries, a number that has shrunk since the new rules were implemented in July. The approval process for licenses has taken longer than officials expected, in large part because unforeseen complications and various delays.

The workgroup meeting is open to the public. It will be held in the atrium of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building at 201 W. Colfax Avenue.