Marijuana plants fill a grow room in Denver. (Kathryn Scott Osler, Denver Post file)

Cannabist Q&A: Wholesale grow licenses, purchase limit for edibles

Welcome to our Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 100-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at

Hey, Cannabist!
Can Colorado caregivers apply for a wholesale license to sell to dispensaries?  I was told the license costs $10,000-$15,000. Thanks!  — Green Ganja Gardener 

Hey, Green!
Yes, since July, medical marijuana caregivers (or any adult Colorado resident for that matter) can apply for a license to grow and sell wholesale to marijuana centers. The license is not specifically for caregivers, it is a recreational cultivation business license, administered by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, MED.

Warren Edson, a marijuana business attorney, gives some details: “The grow license allows you, provided you get state and local approval, to have a standalone recreational grow, with no store requirement like for medical licenses, and wholesale your product to any licensed recreational store or marijuana infused product manufacturer in the state.”

On Oct. 1, the vertical integration requirement that recreational shops must grow most of what they sell was lifted.

Natriece Bryant, communications specialist at the Colorado Department of Revenue, adds anyone can apply for any of the available types of marijuana business licenses. Fees vary depending on the license type — medical or recreational — and the cultivation size, Bryant says. The initial application and license fee for a cultivation facility totals $7,200. Eligible licensees can also apply for additional plant counts. Fees for extended plant counts cost an extra $4,000 or $8,000 depending on the cultivation size.

Even though anyone can apply for a marijuana business license, the license is a privileged license. Certain qualifications need to be met, including age and residency. A clean background check and no outstanding tax or child support debt are other requirements to get a license. XO

Home growing: Yes, it’s called weed, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to grow. Professional growers give an overview of the costs and logistics, the botany, the harvest and more.

Direct from Amsterdam: Five tips on growing your own marijuana at home

Hey, Cannabist!
I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have written the state attorney general objecting to the stupid waste of resources in his lawsuit against Colorado. Anyway, I seem to recall a recent story about tourists being able to buy marijuana when they visit Colorado. Did I dream this story, hoping it could be true? Could you tell me the requirements for a person to buy recreational or medical marijuana?  I would appreciate it!  —Livin’ On Tulsa Time

Hey, Tulsa Time!
You’re not dreaming, it is true. In Colorado, adults 21 and older can purchase marijuana and marijuana-infused products from recreational shops. You need to show a state-issued photo ID to verify your age before you can enter a dispensary and purchase recreational marijuana for your personal and private use. (Keep reading for details on how much you can buy.)

For purchases at a medical marijuana center, one needs to be a Colorado resident, have a doctor recommendation for a qualifying medical condition and present a current state-issued medical registry card, a.k.a. red card. XO

Map: Colorado recreational marijuana shops and medical dispensaries

Strain showdown: Pot critic Jake Browne’s ‘Top 10 strains I smoked this year’

Hey, Cannabist!
How do the stores determine how much of your purchase limit you have when you buy both bud and edibles, since edibles are in milligrams of THC? I believe the law says 7 grams per purchase for a nonresident. Thanks! –Contemporary Cannabis Consumer

Hey, Consumer!
Purchase limits for nonresidents and residents are determined by state regulation and store policy.

You are correct, the purchase limit for nonresidents is a quarter-ounce, or 7 grams, and the purchase limit for Colorado residents is 1 ounce (28 grams). So a nonresident can get up to 7 grams of marijuana flower, but how does that translate to infused baked goods, candies and drinks?

When purchasing edibles, Mitch Woolhiser, owner of Northern Lights Cannabis Co. says: “The state’s rule is that only the weight of THC counts toward the 7,000 milligrams purchase limit. Theoretically, an out-of-state purchaser could buy 7,000 milligrams worth of recreational edibles, which works out to seventy 100-milligram edibles!”

Store policies also determine purchase limits. Woolhiser continues, “At our shop, we count each recreational edible as a half-gram towards the limit to keep everything easy and conservative.  Other shops may have their own policies as they see fit, of course.”

So, at Northern Lights, if an out-of-stater got an eighth of flower (3.5 grams), he or she could also get up to seven edibles. XO

Get educated about edibles: Eight tips for getting the right dose

Edibles everywhere: Appetite for edibles in Colorado (45 percent of legal marijuana marketplace) big surprise of 2014