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Adult-Use Licensing Up, Medical Licensing Down In Colorado

Colorado’s medical cannabis business licenses are slowly decreasing as the adult-use industry steadily ramps up, according to an annual report by the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Full story after the jump.

In 2018, there was a 3 percent increase in adult-use cannabis business licenses in Colorado and an 8 percent decrease in medical licenses, according to the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division annual update.

In all, 209 municipalities in the state have banned industry operations, while 89 allow both medical and recreational sales, 12 allow just medical businesses, and 12 allow only recreational.

The adult-use market accounted for 66 percent of the total pounds of flower and 86 percent of edibles sold to consumers; the sector also accounted for 75 percent of total plants cultivated in the state from July to December. In all, from January through December last year, there were 8,857,580 plants cultivated for the adult-use market and 3,327,706 plants grown for the medical market. Denver, Pueblo, El Paso, and Boulder Counties had the highest number of plants cultivated each month for the third straight year.

The agency reports 10,927,543 units of edibles were sold on the adult-use side, compared to 1,842,325 units in the medical market; along with 1,027,999 units of infused non-edible products sold recreationally, and 179,586 medically. The state also reports 19,315 pounds of concentrate were sold to adult-use customers, with 14,652 pounds sold to medical users.

The agency issued an average of 1,316 new occupation licenses per month in 2018 – which are required for industry workers – and approximately 30 percent of employee licenses that expired last year were renewed.

Cannabusinesses largely passed ID-check stings as the agency conducted 293 checks and 92.3 percent of targeted businesses passed. Additionally, regulators conducted 5,235 license renewal investigations, 1,435 regulator and criminal investigations, 694 change of ownership investigations (while processing 54 change of ownership applications per month), 643 individual background checks, 585 modification of the premises investigations, and 399 compliance inspections.

Regulators also issued 206 license denials, suspended 56 licenses, and allowed 179 companies to keep doing businesses under some stipulation, agreement, or order.

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