Aurora, Colorado: population 350,000. The
suburban city beside Denver has now reached its deadline for cannabis business
licence applicants. According to The Denver Post, the city received 57
Aurora has set a cap of 24, the first of
which could open as soon as October 1.
The applicants will now be reviewed by city
officials to weed out those who do not meet baseline requirements. The city council has been working on this
process since the beginning of the year.
The high fiscal cost of getting into the
city’s cannabis market is one more indication that it is no longer automatically
a mom-and-pop proposition. Entrepreneurs must have access to at least $400,000
in cash reserves, a standing lease, or must have purchased property where the
proposed business will be located on top of having previous experience in the
The city is essentially a suburb of Denver,
which could prove to be a great thing for the Aurora market. Dispensaries in
Aurora could potentially siphon off existing business, although—according to the
latest reports— the market in Colorado is far bigger than initially expected
and the new dispensaries might well find that they can survive by serving as a
new supply to meet unmet existing demand.
Aurora has taken its time to enter the cannabis
industry. The city didn’t make a decision to proceed with recreational sales
until May, although—unlike other Colorado municipalities who banned such
businesses immediately after the recreational vote passed in the state—the city
has been carefully considering its options for over a year.
The successful move forward into the
recreational market is yet another indication that the success of the first
recreational market in Denver is having a definite impact on neighbouring
cities and beyond.