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

Colorado

Medical:
yes
Adult Use:
yes
Age:
21+
Hemp:
yes
CBD:
yes
Delivery:
Medical & Adult Use
Fees:
$144.50+
Application:
Link
Market Overview:

Colorado legalized the medical use of cannabis in 2000 and the establishment of a regulated adult-use cannabis market in 2012. Amendment 20, which amended the state Constitution to allow the use of medical cannabis, was approved by 54% of Colorado voters. Amendment 64, which required the state to establish the regulated adult-use program, was approved by 53% of voters.

Requirements & Application Process:

Who needs a Marijuana Enforcement Division Employee License (aka a MED Badge)?

Anyone who wishes to “possess, cultivate, dispense, transfer, transport, offer to sell, manufacture, or test regulated marijuana” must be licensed by the state, or “badged.”

Requirements:

  • Complete and sign the Colorado MED Employee License Application for a two-year license — this can be done digitally or manually.
  • Provide a Real ID-compliant form of photo identification. If you have a current ID that is not Real ID-compliant, then you must provide a secondary form of identification, which can include:
    • A state-certified birth certificate
    • A social security card
    • A valid U.S. passport
  • Get fingerprinted. You can do this in person at one of four MED offices, or through a third-party provider.
    • The MED charges $39.50 for on-site fingerprinting, while third-party providers can charge upward of $50.
  • Pay the Employee License Application Fee of $105
    • The MED will not complete the intake of your application without payment
  • Payment must be made by check, money order, or credit card. Cash is NOT accepted
  • 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.

The MED will consider any felony convictions, any convictions of crimes involving “moral turpitude,” how past crimes may relate to the work you want to do in the cannabis industry, and other items listed on Pages 73 and 74 of this document. It’s important to note that a felony conviction will NOT automatically disqualify you, and that the MED accepts character references.

Additional Links:
Additional Job & Salary Information:

2021 Salary Guide

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

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