Skip to main content



The Department of Revenue is responsible for issuing and maintaining retail marijuana licenses in the state of Colorado.

To operate a dispensary in Colorado, certain requirements must be met. The applicant must be at least 21 years old, have no drug-related felony convictions within the last 10 years, and be fully discharged of all felony convictions for at least five years. Additionally, a clean moral history is required. The applicant also cannot be employed by the local or state licensing authority.

Recreational sales are restricted to adults ages 21 and over. Anyone with a valid medical cannabis license can purchase from an authorized medical dispensary. However, Colorado’s mature cannabis industry means that it is much more thorough than most other states. The smallest of mistakes can therefore have huge impacts on your operations.

If you are in need of a compliant and innovate payment processor for your Colorado cannabusiness, contact a PayRio representative today.


Colorado has a pioneering history with cannabis legalization. In 2000, the state became one of the first in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis with the passage of Amendment 20. This allowed patients with certain medical conditions to obtain and use cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation.

In 2012, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, which legalized the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and over. The law also created a regulatory framework for the commercial cultivation, production, and sale of cannabis products.

Since the passage of Amendment 64, Colorado has become a leader in the legal cannabis industry. The state has a thriving cannabis market, with a diverse range of businesses and products. Additionally, the legalization of cannabis has had significant economic benefits for the state, including increased tax revenue and job creation.

However, Colorado has also faced challenges in regulating the cannabis industry and addressing the harms caused by the war on drugs. These challenges have included concerns about over-regulation, a thriving black market, and issues related to public health and safety.

In recent years, Colorado has taken steps to address these issues. The state has implemented social equity programs to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal cannabis industry, and has also allowed for the expungement of past cannabis convictions. Additionally, Colorado has legalized the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in certain mushrooms, through the passage of Initiative 301 in 2020.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.