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Medical Marijuana Occupational License Information

State statute and rule mandates that anyone working within the Medical Marijuana industry be licensed by the MED in order to ensure that they meet specific statutory requirements (C.R.S § 12-43.3-307; C.R.S. §  12-43.3-202 (2) (VIII) and C.R.S. §   12-43.3-401 (1) (d)).

These statutory requirements include:

  • Applicants must be age twenty-one or older,
  • Applicants may not have any Controlled Substance Felony Convictions or any other felony convictions that have not been fully discharged for five years prior to applying,
  • Applicants may not have any delinquent governmental or child support debt, AND
  • Applicants must be a Colorado resident at the time of application.

Therefore, all occupational license applicants must undergo a background check, the depth of which is dictated by the level of the individual’s involvement in the business; the two types of Occupational Licenses available are:

Key Employees:  this license is for employees that make operational or management decisions that directly impact the business.  An example of such an employee is a master grower that determines what or how much of a particular strain to produce or an individual whose decisions have an significant impact on the business and its operations, but does not have an ownership interest in the business.  Note that two years of tax information is required for this type of occupational license.

Support Employees: this license is for employees that work within the business but do not make operational decisions.  An example of such an employee would be a bud tender.  The majority of occupational license holders are in this category.

All applicants initially applying for an occupational license must come into a MED office to submit their application, have their fingerprints taken and pose for a photo that will be placed on their occupational license badge  – if they pass the background check and are approved for an occupational license.  The information provided on the application is used to conduct a background check to determine if the applicant meets the statutory criteria.  Key Occupational Licenses cost $250 and Support Occupational Licenses cost $75 – this cost reflects the level of scrutiny necessary to obtain the license.

Currently, Occupational License Background Checks are being conducted at the MED main office located at 455 Sherman Street, Suite 390, Denver, CO 80203.

Come Prepared

When applying for your license be sure to bring your completed application (Key or Support), all supporting documentation (such as tax documents, proof of residency or court dispositions), AND the full amount of your application fee – we cannot accept credit cards so the fee must be paid in cash or with a check made out to the MED or the Colorado Department of Revenue.

The application fee covers the cost of conducting the necessary background check and is based on the amount of investigation necessary; Key Occupational Licenses cost $250 and Support Occupational License cost $75.

Once you have received your occupational license keep in mind that by completing the application you have entered into an agreement to advise the MED, in writing, of any criminal conviction or charge pending within ten days of any arrest, summons or conviction.  Additionally, you must advise the MED of any change in your home address should the MED need to contact you – this is especially important when the time comes to renew, as the MED will send any renewal information to this address.

Occupational License Renewal

Sixty days prior to the expiration date of your occupational license badge the MED will notify you via First Class mail, sent to the home mailing address of record with the MED – the home address you provided at the time you applied for the license or any updated address you have provided to the MED.  This notification will consist of a renewal packet intended to provide the MED with the necessary information to confirm that you still meet the statutory criteria allowing you to hold an MED Occupational License.  Please complete and sign the enclosed application, attach any necessary supporting documentation requested and mail the completed packet and your renewal fee to the MED at 455 Sherman Street, Suite 390, Denver, CO 80203.

If your application is approved the MED will mail you a renewal sticker to place on your badge.

If you fail to pass the background check you will have an opportunity to request a meeting to resolve any issues that arise. If you choose not to pursue this option you must return your expired badge to the MED and discontinue your employment within the Medical Marijuana industry.

PLEASE NOTE: if your MAILING ADDRESS has changed it is YOUR responsibility to notify the MED of your address change – YOU can do this by letter or email.  Please provide your full name, badge number, your previous address and your current address, along with the date you moved.  You may email this information to If you do not keep you address of record current and therefore do not receive or complete the renewal packet prior to the expiration date on your badge it will expire and you will be required to apply for a new badge.

Individuals wishing to upgrade a Support Occupational License to a Key Occupational License will need to complete a Key Occupational License Application and come into the MED Office in order to complete the in-depth background check necessary.  Support badges cannot be upgraded to Key badges via the mail-in renewal process.

Walk-in Applicant Lottery

We are not currently setting appointments for occupational license background checks.  However, we are accepting a specific number of walk-in applicants Monday through Thursday – excluding State Holidays.  In order to alleviate security concerns and keep hopeful applicants from spending several hours waiting and still being turned away, the MED uses a lottery system to determine which walk-in applicants will be seen each day. The lottery system  removes any incentive walk-in applicants have to arrive prior to 8:00 AM as the lottery will be held each licensing day at 8:30 AM.  

 In order to participate in the lottery and applicant must have:

  • A completed MED Occupational Key or Support License Application,
  • All necessary support documents (tax information, court dispositions, etc.),
  • Proof of Residency,
  • Photo Id, AND
  • The full application fee in either cash or check.

Any applicant – either walk-in or with an appointment that does not have these required items will be asked to leave and come back another day when they are fully prepared to undergo the background check process.

All eligible walk-in applicants (those with the required items) present at 8:30 AM will have the same opportunity to draw a numbered block that will entitle them to be seen.  Those that have not drawn a numbered block will be asked to leave and try again in the future. Everyone present AND eligible at 8:30 AM will be given the opportunity to draw a block regardless of when they arrived at the MED office.

The lottery system has removed any benefit to arriving prior to 8:00 AM, when our office opens for business. As the MED is housed in a privately owned commercial building, we strongly encourage walk-in applicants not to arrive earlier.  However, if you choose to do so be considerate of the security concerns of others and remain in your vehicle prior to 8:00 AM when the building opens.  Do Not approach or attempt to enter the building prior to 8:00 AM and Absolutely Do Not approach any individual arriving for work in the building and request that they allow you access to the building.

Dept Revenue Marijuana Division

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