Denver proposes marijuana business caps that would increase MJ locations


Colorado’s capital city could increase its number of marijuana locations for the first time since 2016 under a proposal unveiled Friday by Denver regulators.

Denver’s Office of Marijuana Policy will suggest to the City Council on March 17 that permanent caps for marijuana retail locations and cultivation facilities be enacted in 2021.

The proposal – which pertains to locations, not actual licenses – would cap the number of retail storefronts at 220 and cultivation sites at 299. Those are increases from the current totals of 212 shops and 247 grow facilities.

The additional locations would be available through a lottery, and only Denver’s existing cannabis retail and cultivation license holders would be eligible to enter. However, medical marijuana-only licensees would be able to vie for recreational locations and vice versa.

If the City Council approves of the plan, it would mark the first opportunity for new cannabis locations in Denver since 2016, regulators said.

An agency spokesman stressed that the proposed cap number could change.

“We have not officially calculated how many new locations this will open up for cultivations and retail stores via the lottery. But we anticipate it will not be a large number,” Eric Escudero wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

The proposed caps do not apply to:

  • Infused product manufacturing facilities.
  • Testing facilities.
  • Transporters
  • Social consumption areas.