Denver to hand out first marijuana business licenses Friday

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DENVER -- The city's Department of Excise and Licenses will begin to administer approved retail marijuana business licenses on Friday, Mayor Michael Hancock's office announced Thursday.

Last week, the state sent out licenses to 342 prospective retail marijuana businesses, all of which are existing medical marijuana centers that are now transitioning to the recreational market.

As of Monday, 42 of those applicants have been approved by the City and County of Denver; but officials expect that fewer than 10 stores may actually be ready to open when recreational marijuana officially becomes legal on Jan. 1.

Those applicants include stores, grow facilities, and infused product manufacturers.

Denver is among the more than 25 municipalities across Colorado that opted to allow medical marijuana businesses to begin transitioning into retail marijuana businesses on Jan. 1, 2014; many other large cities, including Aurora, Boulder and Fort Collins, are planning on allowing pot shops to open eventually but are waiting to see how things go in other cities before implementing a regulatory framework.

The city has also set up an informational website explaining the many rules and regulations that pertain to this new industry:


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