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Recreational Marijuana Businesses

Online Application and Payment Process

The City of Boulder is committed to and prepared for providing all essential services to our community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most City of Boulder buildings and facilities are closed until Protect Our Neighbors-level Green status is achieved in Boulder County in an effort to help limit the spread of coronavirus, but all Regulatory Licensing Office staff members are still working and continuing to provide services via email and by phone. 

Given this, City Licensing Staff have developed new processes for receiving License applications through online submission using our EnerGov system via a customer's CSS account to ensure timely filings and payments.  The application packet in the menu to the right has been updated with online instructions and links for the submittal of Marijuana license applications by type.

We hope that these innovative and expedited processes for online application filing and payment continues to provide our customers with excellent customer service.

If you have any questions, please contact our Licensing Staff at [email protected]

Recreational Marijuana Businesses

Our Boulder Revised Code states that persons or locations with over six plants or 2 ounces of product become a business under our local code and each business in our city limits must have a valid and compliant city Marijuana Business license, along with a state license from the State Marijuana Enforcement Division, to legally operate in the City of Boulder.

The Recreational Marijuana Business (RMB) ordinance can be found in the Boulder Revised Code Chapter 6-16. The Medical Marijuana Business (MMB) ordinance can be found in Boulder Revised Code Chapter 6-14.


Application Timelines Chart

Application Process


Time table

100 Percent Conversion applications

For those current MMBs, if they were in operation or had applied by Oct. 22, 2013, that wish to fully convert their MMB business operations to RMB business operations.
Applications accepted as of Jan. 2, 2014

Co-location with physical separation of both MMB and RMB businesses in existing footprint

For those current MMBs that wish to divide, then convert a portion of their current business footprint for RMB operations.

Applications accepted as of Jan. 21, 2014

Co-location with virtual separation of both MMB and RMB businesses in existing footprint

For those current MMBs, if they can prove through submission of a record sample that they are able to separate their audit records per license, and who wish to operate both MMB and RMB locations in their existing business footprint.

Applications accepted as of Dec. 7, 2016

New MMB and RMB business licenses applications for any license class.

New applications for locations that were not licensed as of Oct. 22, 2013 are also being accepted. Boulder City Council has not set a maximum license number to be issued. Instead numbers are managed through distance (1,000 feet measured property line to property line from store locations to schools/universities/licensed day cares/addiction treatment facilities), through zoning (business type must be in proper zone), and through density (there shall not be more than 3 MJ businesses of any type within 500 feet of each other).

New Applications will be accepted as of June 1, 2014.

MMB and RMB License Transfer applications for any license class. For issued MMB and RMB licensees who desire to transfer their city licenses to another business entity who, if approved, will be our new city licensee. Transfer applications will be accepted as of Dec. 7, 2016.



Conversion and Co-location application process

In accordance with Boulder Revised Code Chapter 6-14, Medical Marijuana Business (MMB) owners who are currently compliant are able to file 100 percent conversions, and co-location applications, whether via physical separation or virtual separation, of both MMB and RMB in their current business licensed footprint.

Those MMB businesses which were compliant and open on Oct. 22, 2013 are eligible for 100 percent conversions to RMB licenses.

MMBs in mixed use development locations with residential units open as of Oct. 22, 2013 are not eligible for the license conversion or co-location processing.

A person may only hold an ownership percentage interest in up to 3 RMB dispensaries or MMB wellness centers, whether single use or dual use, and there is no limit in the number of licenses which a person may hold an interest in for MIP licenses for MMB/RMB products or Grow locations for either MMB or RMB Greenhouses.

An additional city excise tax of 5 percent was approved by vote for RMB Grow locations and an added city 3.5 percent sales and use tax was approved by vote for RMB dispensary, MIP, and Testing locations. Payment of this city tax will be required for continued RMB license compliance.

A pre-scheduled, in-person filing appointment is required for filing of conversion or co-location applications. Necessary documents are included separately here in the links to the right. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

RMB New applications, license maintenance, and annual renewals

For New RMB applications, Transfer applications, and Change of Locations applications, an in-person intake meeting is required with Licensing staff.

For RMB Business Entity/Trade Name, City Keyholder, Stock/Share sales and Renewal filings, the applications, attachments, and fees can be mailed in.

License maintenance applications, such as ownership changes or officer changes, must be filed at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the proposed change.

Minor modifications for premise modifications may be proceeded with as soon as the complete application is filed with City Licensing.

Major modifications for premise modifications must be inspected and approved by the city before the modification space may be used for business purposes.

City keyholder changes should be filed 30 days prior to the proposed new person acting as a keyholder, unless a complete application and fees is submitted to the city, which also includes a copy of the new person’s state key badge.

As with MMB License renewals, RMB License renewals must be filed at least 45 days prior to the license expiration date or a substantial city late fee is required.