How to Start a Cannabis Delivery Service in Colorado

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Colorado legalized medical cannabis in 2000. Then in 2012, Colorado voters opted to make cannabis legal for adult use, aka recreational cannabis. Colorado was the first state to get their market in order and make it operational. As a result business is booming. Delivery is not available in Colorado at the moment, but here’s how you would go about opening whe n delivery does eventually become legal.

The following conditions are some of those that qualify for treatment with medical cannabis:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • PTSD

As stated above, cannabis delivery is prohibited in Colorado. There is always a possibility that this will change. If cannabis home delivery were legalized, dispensaries could apply for a delivery endorsement, then have an employee or approved contractor do deliveries. Daily purchase limits of one once per day for recreational users and 2 ounces for medical users would still apply of course. Delivery would be available to private residences, but naturally not for public spaces such as, dormitories, hotels, or commercial businesses.

What Type of Business Can I Open in Colorado?

Cannabis business can I open in Colorado

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As long as the applicant is 21 years old (or older) and can pass a criminal record check that looks for excluded felony offenses, in Colorado they are allowed to open a retail marijuana store, marijuana product manufacturers, cultivators, testing facilities, and extraction services. In the near future, there may be delivery businesses allowed as well, assuming the Senate bill is passed.

Legalization in Colorado

Medical cannabis was legalized in Colorado 17 years ago, while recreational marijuana was legalized about five years ago. This was called Amendment 64 and, of course, only applies to individuals who are 21 years of age or more.

Colorado’s Cannabis Industry

Since Colorado’s cannabis market  has been around for a while, there are a relatively high number of different cannabis businesses currently operating in the state of Colorado. These businesses include 14 testing facilities, 250 infused product manufacturers, 776 cultivation centers, and 520 centers within the medical cannabis field.

On the recreational side of things, there are also plenty of Licensed Retail Marijuana Businesses: 13 testing facilities, 257 product manufacturers, 667 cultivation centers, and 479 stores.

Owner’s Requirements

Colorado’s law allows counties and cities to set rules for both growers and sellers. They’re allowed to bar cannabis businesses, including delivery services. As always, you should check local laws before you decide to set up shop.

Licensing Requirements

As of May of 2016, the licensing process has changed. The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses is no longer allowed to process new licenses for cannabis businesses. The new process of selecting applications for licenses involves being subjected to a lottery process.

Before starting your business, you will obviously have to go through the application process. An application form will have to be completed, and any required documents and payments must be turned in to the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) at the same time. The validity of your application will be determined by the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, which is where a copy of your application documents will go via the MED.

Both accepted and rejected applicants receive a notice in the mail from the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. If you were successful, you should then file a licensing application.

There could be legal and regulatory differences in the specific location an applicant plans to start a cannabis business. According to Colorado law, each city and/or county can choose to make their own rules regarding cannabis business owners. Make sure you are always informed of local laws

Financial Requirements

Laws vary depending on which area of Colorado you are in. Obviously, location is the biggest determining factor. For a 2-year Retail Marijuana Transporter license you could anywhere between $500 and $4,900.

For that reason, it’s important to find out how much application and other fees will cost. Do this before you have even applied, as applying successfully only to find out that you are unprepared financially would be devastating.

What is My Expected Profit?

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Cannabis dispensaries can easily make up to $50,000 a year. Once delivery service is legalized in Colorado you can expect the same results.


Starting a cannabis business takes some time. You should  allow at least a year to acquire licenses, line up your suppliers and hire employees.

 Consulting Companies

These consulting firms can help you understand state licensing requirements, complete the application process and get your business up and running.


1 Comment

  1. WOW Delivery on

    Great guide man, if you are interested guys you can contact WOW Delivery. We deliver in the colorado area 303-249-1107

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