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How To Work In Colorados Marijuana Industry

Updated on December 2, 2014

Looking to work in a dispensary?

This guide will help you meet the requirements to work in Colorado Marijuana Dispensaries.

I am a well seasoned veteran of the Marijuana Industry and I am excited that you are here to learn more about Medical Marijuana and how you can play your part in this new and exciting industry!

Becoming a Marijuana Employee

Medical Marijuana Employee Badge
Medical Marijuana Employee Badge

Pre Qualification

Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are automatically disqualified from having an MMED (Medicial Marijuana Enforcement Division) badge. Most disqualifications are related to criminal history.

  1. Ever been charged with Trafficking, Manufacturing, or Distributing Controlled substances in Colorado or any other state?
  2. Have you been charged with a violent felony?
  3. Have you been charged with any type of financial crime? Theft, etc.
  4. Have you been arrested in the past 5 years?
  5. Are you under 21?
  6. Are you on probation?
  7. Do you owe back child support?
  8. Do you owe back taxes?
  9. Do you owe any government agency money?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions you are disqualified from holding MMJ( Medical Marijuana) Badges issued by Colorado MMED (Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division)

Type Of Badge

There are two types of badge you can apply for.

  1. Key Badge: The Colorado MMED Key badge requirements require a little more information pertaining to financial history and background than the support badge does, It also cost a little more. With a Key badge you are able to do a few things that a support badge prohibits you from. When choosing which type of badge you want to get there are several important deciding factors to keep in mind. Think of a key badge as a managers badge, more accurately think of it as a badge giving you key holder rights and advantages. Support badge holders have restrictions that require a key badge employees to be present on site. A key badge is allowed to work with up to 7 patients or clients at a time. This type of badge also affords you the opportunity to move more quickly into better paying positions of management.
  2. Support badge: A MMED support badge is exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to offer your support to the key badges that are on site. Key badges have several disadvantages but are easier to attain and cost a little less. The disadvantages are, you cannot be on site alone, (creates issues when you need lunch breaks etc.) You can only work with 3 patients of clients at a time. You cannot be in restricted areas without a Key holder present.

Qualifying for and attaining your MMJ/MMED badge.

Background checks are mandatory!

You are not disqualified simply for having a criminal record. However there is (for everyone) an extensive background check to pass as well as a lengthy application process and you will be required to disclose ALL arrests dating back to age 18. The MMED board requires that if you have anything (ANYTHING!) on your criminal record that you disclose everything (EVERYTHING!) . This is done by contacting every court you have ever been in and having them mail you a copy of the court disposition in that case. (case closed, case ongoing etc.)

If you meet the requirements then stop here and take a second to congratulate yourself because you will be able to work in a dispensary easily if you follow the directions I am about to lay out!

Take it from me, I would have given my right arm to have someone clue me in before I had to wonder around the halls of the MMED building looking like a moron armed with nothing more than the desire to sell weed. My goal is to help you meet the requirements easily so that you can get on to the fun stuff quickly!

Colorado MMJ Support Badge Key Badge

Working in The Marijuana Industry
Working in The Marijuana Industry | Source

Getting Your Badge

This next step is why you are here. If you have made it this far than truly exciting times are just ahead!

Prepare to apply. Gather all of your documents, put them in order and double check everything!

You will need to complete your application for which ever badge you have chosen (I recommend a Key badge if you have the extra time money and patience as it could pay out better in the future) and attach the following items:

Both Badges require the following:

Colorado ID and proof of residency

  1. A complete (COMPLETE) work history for every single job you have ever held period no exceptions.
  2. A complete (COMPLETE) Must be arrest record, (if your asking yourself "does that time they cuffed me at that party count?" then answer it with this question, "did they record and keep my name?" even if you weren't charged with a crime) You are required to disclose each time you have had an interaction with law enforcement and the resulting charge or case must be disclosed.(DON'T PANIC simple crimes are overlooked and may not disqualify you)
  3. You are required to provide Court dispositions of all cases disclosed in your arrest record. These are fairly easy to attain even if you live out of state from where the charge was prosecuted from. The way you go about this is by calling or appearing at the courthouse in which you were charged, ask for or go to the clerks office and tell them you need dispositions in all cases relating to you. Its that simple. They will either mail you or provide you with the copies your requesting at which time I recommend making extra copies before attaching to your application.

Support Badge: Must be a Colorado resident for 3 months and meet the above requirements to apply.

Key Badge: Must be a Colorado resident for 1 years and meet all of the above requirements in addition to the following.

  1. A complete financial history must be included and must go back as far as 10 years or the age of 18 whichever applies to you. This is done with tax returns.
  2. A complete rental/housing history going back 10 years or the age of 18 which ever applies first.

What's a Marijuana Employee Badge Cost?

The cost can vary from person to person once you tally up your arrest record and possibly copying and mailing fees however these costs should be minimal and if they for some reason are extensive than I would recommend looking for another career because no one should have undue hardship attaining their arrest record!

The filing fees are as follows as of October 2014

MMED Key Badge Cost: $300.00

MMED Support Badge Cost: $150.00

The fee scheduling which is subject to change can be found here.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division

Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division
Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division

How to Apply For Your MMED Work Badge

You thought the BMV was fun!...

Take your completed application and all of its attached documents along with your ID and completed Check list (from the application) to the MMED office. Denver Main Office 455 Sherman Street, Suite 390
Denver, CO 80203
Available on a Walk-In Basis: Monday - Friday, 8:00AM - 12:00PM and 1:00 - 2:00PM

Do you prefer drawing sticks to see who gets the short one? Perhaps drawing numbers from a jar is more appealing to you. Well guess what!?! You'll get your chance! This is the most peculiar thing I have ever experienced while getting any type of license in my life. When you show up at the MMED office at 8 am there will likely be a crowded room full of pot head friendly wake and baked potheads standing around quietly observing the awkward silence as you check in and wait to see what the game of the day is. Here the drill. Theres going to be too many applicants for you all to be seen in one morning, so the way the decide who will be seen and who must return another day is by holding little quick silly competitions. Some days you draw numbers, other days you draw sticks, some days they give you a stamp or sticker. It seems like the main objective on their behalf is to confuse potheads and observe the responses.

Once you have made it through the stick drawing competition and you are able to be seen, you will watch as everyone who lost the competition that day leaves and they lock the door behind them. Next you will be asked individually to present a completed application and ID with payment exact change and CASH ONLY to the clerk. They will begin checking backgrounds taking your fingerprints and photograph and lastly printing your new Employee Badge. They will then present the badge to you for inspection and then send you home for the day. The whole process is fairly quick lasting less that 3 hours and the only real down side is that you wont be leaving with that new snazzy badge.... OH SNAP..... That's right, its not going home with you! You have to wait for them to complete your background check and clear each of your court dispositions before they mail it to you. This can take up to 2 weeks.

Other offices:

Colorado Springs Office 1030 Academy Blvd. Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Call for an appointment: 719-570-5622 North Metro (Longmont) Office: 275 South Main Street, Suite 101 Longmont, CO 80501 Call for an Appointment: 303-866-2274

While you wait

While you wait on your MMED badge to arrive you can begin versing yourself with knowledge to present yourself well in interviews with professionals within the industry.

I recommend that you start looking for places to work that may be of interest to you. DO NOT call, or walk into these dispensaries until your badge arrives, it just looks bad period. Its also annoying to me the guy behind the counter who is trying to help people and your standing here asking a shit ton of questions you should be asking online. It goes like this! Look like you know what the heck your doing and you might have a chance in a highly competitive industry.

You need to put together a cover letter outlining the good reasons you want to work in marijuana and don't say things like "ive sold it all my life" or "I love it because it chills me out man.." 9 out of 10 dispensary owners either are or know someone who is or was ill enough to honestly need Marijuana so I would recommend saying things that cater to your knowledge in that field.

Good Luck fellow stoner! Remember 1 thing in your new found career!

If you don't know 100% without a doubt that what your telling your patients and customers is true, DON'T TELL THEM ANYTHING. The last thing you want to do is hurt someone by making a mistake in dosage or not relaying a warning to them. COVER YOUR BUTT and learn instead of relaying bad information. You're here to heal sick people and its pretty cool to be able to do it selling pot, but THEY NEED YOU to advocate for them and strive to provide the best strains to your ability!

Have fun and feel free to comment and question!

Tips for working in Marijuana

  1. Become a notary. Nothing says you have the desire to work and work hard in a new industry than covering all of your bases. Dispensaries need you to be able to notarize patient change forms for the state and this requires a notarys signature. So... Become a notary and offer them this service and give yourself the much needed edge. Becoming a notary is quick and easy and can be done online so search for an online class that is valid in Colorado and have your notary ready before your first interview!
  2. Good Luck!

Key Badge application can be found here

Support badge application can be found here

How to get your MMED badge

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Colorado State Patrolman are allowed to work in dispensary's

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© 2014 xquisit1985


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