Aurora removes bond requirement from marijuana business licensing process


AURORA | The City of Aurora is no longer requiring marijuana businesses to post a $20,000 surety bond against liability for city sales and/or excise tax as part of their licensing requirements. 

That decision follows the Colorado General Assembly’s passage of House Bill 16-1041, according to a city news release. HB 1041 repeals the state requirement that retail marijuana stores, retail marijuana cultivations and medical marijuana businesses post a surety bond of $5,000 against liability for state sales and/or excise taxes.

The legislation arose from businesses around the state having difficulty obtaining the bonds and trouble renewing their licenses, according to state and city officials.

“Both prospective and current marijuana businesses in Aurora have recently had increasing trouble meeting the city’s requirement,” said city spokeswoman Julie Patterson in a statement. “Both the state’s and the city of Aurora’s bond requirements were originally intended to ensure that marijuana businesses would pay the taxes that they owed, but the city of Aurora has not found tax payment to be a problem within the industry.” 

Aurora has awarded 23 marijuana retail store licenses since 2014. One license in Ward VI remains, but city officials say it isn’t known at this time when the application process will open again for that license.

HB 1041 was signed into law March 11 by Gov. John Hickenlooper.