Marijuana plants for medical use get a drink a facility in Federal Heights in 2010. (Denver Post file)

Update: 1,608 apply for 10 marijuana business licenses in Adams County

Adams County received 1,608 applications in less than three weeks from people interested in opening one of 10 marijuana business in unincorporated areas.

Applications were accepted from Jan. 2 to Jan. 22, during which time the county took the names and contact numbers of all people looking to open a recreational marijuana store, grow house, testing facility or infused-product manufacturing facility.

At the 4 p.m. deadline, people were still lined up waiting to drop off their application.

The names of the first people allowed to apply will be randomly selected during a lottery drawing at 3 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Adams County Government Center, 4430 S. Adams County Parkway in Brighton.

The drawing will also stream live on the county’s YouTube channel.

“We’re very excited to host a lot drawing on Tuesday, and also very excited to start the application process to help these 10 new businesses start in Adams County,” said Abel Montoya, director of the county’s planning department.

Only 10 operations will be allowed to open this year to give staff time to test their regulations– three retail stores, three grow facilities, three infused-product manufacturing facilities and one testing facility. There were 852 applicants for stores, 548 for grows, 176 for manufacturing and 32 for testing. the county said.

“I believe the process has been very successful,” said Montoya. “The county created very clear rules and procedures for the marijuana lot drawing. We had dedicated staff who handle the process very well and helped to minimize wait time.”

The 10 selected applicants have six months after the drawing to get a state license, building permit and change-of-use permit for their business.

If a lottery winner doesn’t have all of that within six months, the county will call the next name that was pulled from the lottery, and that person would begin the process.

Both the cap of 10 businesses and the lottery system will be for this year. After that, the county may consider more stores and facilities as long as there is enough space for them.

Last year, Adams County voters approved recreational marijuana operations in unincorporated parts of the county along with an additional 3 percent sales tax on all retail sales.

The Board of County Commissioners and the county planning department have been busy formalizing a set of regulations and zoning requirements for marijuana operations. The first code was adopted by the board Dec. 16.

The code only governs the sale and manufacturing of recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is still not allowed in unincorporated Adams County, although it is allowed in Northglenn and Commerce City.

Megan Mitchell: 303-954-2650, or

This story was first published on