Marijuana market report prepared by DU professor Paul Seaborn

Paul Seaborn

The latest Colorado Marijuana Market Report finds that 43 Colorado cities now have at least 10 active licenses, and a number of small Colorado communities such as Moffat, Walsenburg and Trinidad continue to appear within the top 15 cities for marijuana licenses. The quarterly report is produced by the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business Assistant Professor Paul Seaborn.

“Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Pueblo and Pueblo West remain the top five cities for marijuana licenses as they have been for over a year,” says Seaborn. “However, these five cities now account for only 63.64 percent of all state licenses, the lowest percentage on record. The City and County of Denver has over 38 percent of the state’s active licenses but has experienced a decrease from 1,244 in December 2016 to 1,181 in September 2018.”

The total number of active Colorado marijuana business licenses is 3,069, slightly down from the record high of 3,101 in May 2018. Fifty-two percent of these licenses (1,597) are for the retail/recreational market and 48 percent (1,472) for the medical market.

The number of retail/recreational licenses has exceeded the number of medical licenses since January 2018, and medical licenses have decreased each month since October 2017. Medical dispensaries have decreased from a high of 531 in August 2016 to 486 in September 2018, while retail stores have increased from 440 to 541 in the same period.

“Native Roots and LivWell continue to have the largest number of licenses operating under a single name, with Native Roots holding 61 licenses and LivWell holding 47,” Seaborn says. “Six organizations have at least 20 active licenses, down from eight in August 2017. Sweet Leaf, which once had the third most licenses in the state, no longer has any active licenses. No single organization name represents more than 1.7 percent of the state’s licenses.”

While four new license categories were introduced in July 2017—Retail Transporter, Retail Operator, Medical Transporter and Medical Operator—only 35 of these licenses are currently active.

The Colorado Marijuana Market Report is a quarterly publication by Seaborn analyzing the data from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division and other sources.

About the author:
Paul Seaborn is an assistant professor in the Department of Management at the Daniels College of Business. Prior to joining Daniels, he completed a Ph.D. in strategic management at the University of Toronto, and worked for eight years as a consultant for Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and IBM Global Services. He is the author of one of the first business teaching cases on marijuana and launched the first-ever “Business of Marijuana” course at the Daniels College of Business in spring 2017. His recent research projects examine information disclosure and reputation (ratings, rankings, classification), industry regulation and corporate political activity. Read more.