Only six months old, Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry starts a transformation today that could add hundreds of new pot businesses and reconfigure the market’s architecture, reports the Denver Post. Previously, only owners of existing medical marijuana shops could apply to open recreational stores, and all businesses had to grow the pot that they sold. The model matches what is required of medical marijuana dispensaries.
Starting today, newcomers to the industry can apply for recreational marijuana business licenses. When these new businesses begin opening in October, all recreational marijuana companies will be allowed to specialize, as wholesale growers without a storefront, for instance, or as stand-alone stores that don’t grow their supply. The only requirement is that owners be Colorado residents. As of mid-June, 292 people had filed optional notices with the state saying that they planned to apply for a recreational marijuana business license starting July 1. Mike Elliott of the Marijuana Industry Group said zoning restrictions and real estate crunches will squeeze the areas where new businesses can go. “It’s tough to know how many people are really going to apply,” he said. “Running a marijuana business is much, much more difficult than it might initially appear.”