How to Work In Cannabis

Requirements by State

Map of the United States

Politics, budgets, and public support vary widely by state, which means each state’s requirements to work in the cannabis industry look completely different from one another.* This map and corresponding state information is not updated in real time. For up-to-the-minute information on requirements to work in cannabis, visit the governing body links provided on each state page.

17States & DistrictsAdult use cannabis is legal
21States & DistrictsMedical cannabis is legal

How to get your cannabis license in:

Shape of Colorado


Adult Use:
adult use
Market Overview:

Colorado legalized the medical use of cannabis in 2000 and adult use in late 2012. On November 7, 2000, 54% of Colorado voters approved Amendment 20, which amended the State Constitution to allow the use of marijuana in the state for approved patients with written medical consent.

Requirements & Application Process:

Who needs a MED Employee License (aka a MED Badge)?:

Anyone who wishes to “work within Colorado’s Regulated Marijuana Industry”. In order to work for a cannabis business that handles cannabis plants or products in any capacity, “you must first apply and be approved for a MED Employee License”. Colorado Department of Revenue, MED Employee License Page


  • Complete and sign the MED Employee License Application (all applicable documents must be signed prior to submission)
  • Provide a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID as proof of identity
  • Submit the non-refundable application fee for a two-year license
  • Submit your application
Background Check Requirements:

A background check is required as part of the MED Employee Licensing process. Additionally, you will be required to disclose criminal history on your license application. For any felony offense disclosed where you were arrested or charged, you must obtain official documentation from the court where you appeared.

Additional Links:
Additional Job & Salary Information:

2020 Salary Guide

State Regulations Forum: Get your state regulations questions answered in our community forum.

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