New Cannabis Opportunities Abound as Colorado Prepares to Lift Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium

, New Cannabis Opportunities Abound as Colorado Prepares to Lift Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium

Colorado is on the cusp of another green rush as the state prepares to lift a two-year dispensary moratorium, allowing a new wave of entrepreneurs to apply for state licenses to operate medical marijuana centers.

The move is both positive and negative for the Colorado MMJ industry. While it lowers the barriers to entry, allows more individuals to open dispensaries and creates new opportunities for investors, it also ushers in a new era of competition for existing marijuana centers – many of which are still struggling to make a profit.

Regardless, the end of the moratorium is largely seen as a positive development for the MMJ industry in Colorado. Lawyers, consultants and other types of MMJ companies are now reaching out to potential applicants, offering to help them navigate the complex process of applying for and running a dispensary.

In Colorado Springs, for example, the MMJ Business Academy is hosting one-day business classes focused on  how to open a medical marijuana center in the state. The seminars explore everything from regulations and the application process to what makes dispensaries successful and inventory, tracking and tax issues. Led by MMJ lawyer Charles T. Houghton and KC Stark, who has started and sold several MMJ businesses, the seminars cost $299.

The moratorium on dispensary business licenses – implemented in the summer of 2010 and extended for a year – is set to expire July 1. During the past two years, only individuals who applied before the moratorium could go through the application process. Current dispensary owners have therefore operated in a somewhat protected market. Not that it did much good: Many experts feel the market was already saturated, and new state regulations implemented last year led to a host of new costs for dispensaries. So it isn’t like existing centers are raking in the money. Now they’ll have to compete against a new crop of players.

But the barriers to entry remain high. It can cost at least $100,000 – and often much more – to open a basic dispensary, and the regulatory requirements are daunting. And then there’s the fact that medical marijuana is still illegal federally, creating a huge set of risks.

4 comments on “New Cannabis Opportunities Abound as Colorado Prepares to Lift Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium
  1. MMJCentersForSale on

    Colorado is making history (again) and leading the nation in developing an all American for-profit small business model for medical marijuana.

    Indeed, Colorado Springs has become the new ‘silicon valley’ of medical marijuana development. Not only retail stores/dispensaries have grown and prospered, but R&D is at an all time ‘high’ with local UCCS professor releasing cannabis studies and listing on the stock market.

    Last year, the sales of mmj in Colorado has reached record levels.

    The moratorium being lifted is a unique historical moment that will come and pass.

    If you are bold and wise, Get into Colorado and make the most of this historic moment.

    Keep up the good work Business Daily!

  2. Michael on

    Great article explaining the nuances of the moratorium being lifted.
    As the leading provider of Point of Sale business software with guaranteed Colorado compliance built-in, we know how complicated it can seem. But having partners who have been here from the very beginning, and gaining important information at seminars and business group meetings, as well as subscribing to this fine site (shout out to chris and staff) is truly invaluable to any new operation’s success. We love helping new centers get up to speed quickly and efficiently with hardware and software, as well as some good old fashioned support advice about best-practices and tips to help your center successfully grow.

    To all of the new operations looking to serve the fine patients of Colorado, we wish you much success! Welcome.

  3. GoGreenCross on

    Medical Marijuana Registry Numbers Climb for 4th Month in a Row.

    +12,800 since Dec!

    Despite the challenges the industry, the doctors, and the patients face – the public has spoken.

    For the 4th month in a row, the CDPHE has seen an increase in patient registrations.

    This is a good sign that MMJ is being accepted more by the masses – and is no longer a fringe movement.

    12,800 new patients added with the CDPHE?

    Not bad for a product that has so many challenges.

    Give us liberty – or at least give us medical marijuana.

  4. Organic Denver MMJ on

    The important thing right now is that the people are fighting for their right to choose their medications. Despite legislation we are not backing down. When they try to push us down we keep fighting back.

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