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  • Writer's pictureEvan Smith

How to Open a Dispensary in Colorado: A Comprehensive Guide

If you're interested in starting a dispensary in Colorado, there are a few key steps you'll need to take. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of obtaining a license, finding a location, and setting up your business.

Step 1: Obtain a License

The first step in opening a dispensary in Colorado is to obtain a license from the state. This involves filling out an application, paying a fee, and undergoing a background check. There are several different types of licenses available, depending on the type of business you want to run.

The most common type of license is a Retail Marijuana Store License, which allows you to sell marijuana products to consumers. You can also apply for a Medical Marijuana Center License, which allows you to sell medical marijuana to patients.

In addition to the state license, you'll also need to obtain a local license from the city or county where you plan to operate. This typically involves submitting an application and paying a fee, and may also involve a background check.

Find a Location

Once you've obtained your license, the next step is to find a location for your dispensary. This can be a challenging process, as there are many regulations governing where dispensaries can be located.

In general, dispensaries must be located at least 1,000 feet from schools, child care facilities, and other sensitive areas. They also must be located in a commercial or industrial zone, and cannot be located in a residential area.

To find a suitable location, you may want to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with the local zoning laws and regulations.

Set Up Your Business

Once you've found a location for your dispensary, the next step is to set up your business. This involves obtaining any necessary permits and licenses, hiring employees, and setting up your inventory and point of sale systems.

You'll also need to comply with a range of regulations governing how you can advertise and market your business. For example, you cannot use billboards or other outdoor advertising to promote your dispensary, and you cannot advertise to minors.

Market Your Dispensary

Once your dispensary is up and running, the next step is to market your business and attract customers. This may involve a range of strategies, including social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization.

To optimize your website for search engines, you'll want to focus on creating high-quality, informative content that uses relevant keywords and phrases. You may also want to consider working with an SEO professional who can help you develop an effective strategy for ranking your website in the search results.


Opening a dispensary in Colorado can be a challenging but rewarding process. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set yourself up for success and start serving customers in your local community. Remember to focus on creating a high-quality, customer-focused business that complies with all relevant regulations and operates with integrity and professionalism.

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