Update on fees post stakeholder meeting Monday 5 June 2023

Dear Stakeholders:

Thank you to those of you who were able to join our meeting on Monday, June 5th and for your questions. MED understands this is a difficult conversation and appreciates you all coming to the table with a mind towards collaboration and seeking understanding. For anyone who was not able to join the meeting, the meeting recording and presentation are posted on the MED’s 2023 Rulemaking webpage.


In recap, please see the following takeaways from MED’s presentation: 

  • Background
  • Since 2012, the fees for licenses in the regulated marijuana industry have not increased above those 2012 rates. From 2012 through 2023, inflation was ~34% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • MED has taken several steps to reduce expenses, including: 
  • Downsizing office space in Lakewood and Colorado Springs, and exploring opportunities to further downsize the agency’s footprint in Longmont and Grand Junction; 
  • Intentionally holding open vacant positions and not rehiring after departures (MED is authorized for up to 156 full time employees and is currently staffed at 105); 
  • Looked at what drives workload and the tie between workload and associated fees, taking into account both economic impacts and statutory compliance needs
  • Explored alternative funding sources. 
  • Proposed Fee Increases: All fees increasing by ~8%, with four exceptions:
  • Exception 1: Approved Social Equity licensees are eligible for a reduction on select licenses/permits for the initial and first renewal fee
  • Exception 2: Employee license: $150
  • Exception 3: Additional fees for ownership complexity, introducing a new concept of Levels to more directly match fees to complexity and increased workload
  • Exception 4: One new fee / category: Reduced Testing Allowance
  • Next Steps:
  • The State Licensing Authority (Mark Ferrandino) intends to adopt fees on an emergency rule basis at the end of June with a July 1st effective date and MED will simultaneously initiate the permanent rulemaking process.

Interested stakeholders may submit written comments using the form linked on the 2023 Rulemaking webpage.


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