The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Meno, MPP director of communications
202-905-2030 or 443-927-6400

Colorado Nets $7.34M From Medical Marijuana Dispensary License Applications

Seeking Regulation and Legitimacy, More than 700 Apply for Licenses that Will Generate Millions in New Revenue for Colorado


than 2,000 people in Colorado applied for licenses to run
state-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries, growing facilities or
related businesses before this weekend's application deadline, according
to state officials. In total, the state made $7.34 million from
application fees alone.

More than 700 applied specifically for
dispensary licenses, far exceeding the number expected by state
officials, who estimated that only half of the state's roughly 1,100
pre-existing dispensaries would apply for licenses. State officials will
now conduct thorough background checks on applicants before awarding
licenses, which are expected to generate additional millions in annual
revenue for Colorado.

"This outpouring of applications is another
sign of how willing and eager marijuana business owners are to be taxed,
regulated, and given equal treatment to other legitimate
establishments," said Steve Fox, director of government relations for
the Marijuana Policy Project. "By sensibly regulating its medical
marijuana industry, Colorado stands to gain untold millions in new
revenue while at the same time providing legal clarity and rational
oversight to what may soon be the largest regulated marijuana market in
the world."

In June, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (D)
signed legislation designed to regulate the state's medical marijuana
industry through a system of local and state licenses. A state-licensed
medical marijuana program is up and running in New Mexico, and similar
programs will soon be operational in Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey,
and Washington, D.C. - but the number of sanctioned dispensaries to be
allowed in each of those states is fewer than 10. Colorado's law will
authorize hundreds, and potentially more if future demand increases.

A Rasmussen telephone poll released May 15
showed that there is also plurality support among Colorado voters for
further expanding the state's marijuana laws. Forty-nine percent of
likely voters said they support taxing and regulating marijuana like
alcohol, with an additional 13 percent still undecided.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the number one organization in the U.S. legalizing cannabis. We passed 13 medical cannabis laws in the past 15 years, and we ran winning campaigns in eight of the 11 legalization states. No organization in the movement has changed as many cannabis laws, impacted as many patients and consumers, created as many new markets, or done more to end cannabis prohibition in the U.S. than MPP.