As part of Colorado’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the legal cannabis industry, the Marijuana Enforcement Division focuses on outreach and engagement resources to support such initiatives. The MED aims to increase diversity in dispensary owner licenses, with an increased focus on women and minority community owners. A person who meets the eligibility criteria for a Social Equity Licensee can participate in the Division’s Accelerator Program or apply to own and operate a regulated marijuana business.

A social equity applicant must be a resident of Colorado, and must not have previously owned a marijuana business that was subject to revocation. They also must meet one of the following conditions:

  • The applicant must have resided for at least 15 years between 1980 and 2010 in a census tract designated as a disproportionately impacted area.
  • The applicant or their parent, legal guardian, sibling, spouse, child, or minor in their guardianship was arrested or convicted for a marijuana offense.
  • Their household income in a year before application did not exceed 50% of the state median income.

Colorado mandates that social equity licensees must hold at least 51% ownership of the cannabis business. You’ll find more information on how to apply for a social equity cannabis license and other resources related to funding on Colorado’s website.