Report: Nearly 3,000 Active Marijuana Licenses in Colorado


On Dec. 8, 2016, Assistant Professor Paul Seaborn of University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business released the Colorado Marijuana Market Report, an analysis of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division’s raw license data. Seaborn found that Colorado had a record-high of 2,913 active marijuana business licenses as of Dec. 1.

“When recreational marijuana was legalized in January 2014, there were 1,708 active licenses in Colorado, so the state has experienced a 70 percent increase in licenses in just under two years,” Seaborn said. “While the total number of active licenses should exceed 3,000 during 2017, the long-term outlook is unclear. Some areas of Colorado, such as Denver, have introduced caps on the number of licenses.”

Colorado issues eight types of marijuana business licenses: medical cultivation, medical infused, medical testing, medical center, retail cultivation, retail product manufacturing, retail testing and retail dispensary.

Of the currently active marijuana business licenses, 54% are for medical marijuana businesses and 46% are for recreational businesses. Since January 2016, retail product manufacturing and retail cultivation licenses have been the fastest-growing license types.

As documented in the report, more than a third of the state’s active licenses are for marijuana businesses in the City and County of Denver. With 62 licenses, Native Roots is the largest license-holder in the state.

According to an email exchange with Seaborn, “25 of the 62 current Native Roots licenses are all registered at the same location - 4990 DAHLIA STREET, DENVER CO – and there are also 5 other licenses listed for that location under other names. The total of 30 licenses makes it the location with the single most active licenses in the state.”

“More consolidation should be expected given that [Native Roots] represents only about 2 percent of total active licenses in the state,” Seaborn explained, as reported by the DU Newsroom.

At 49 licenses, LivWell is the second largest license holder in the state, followed by Sweet Leaf with 34 licenses.

Seaborn plans to release quarterly reports on Colorado’s marijuana market. You can watch Seaborn discuss his report with the University of Denver below.


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