Aurora opening applications for final remaining retail marijuana license

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AURORA | City officials plan to even the score among competition for recreational marijuana: Here comes No. 24.

Aurora issued 23 of 24 available store licenses for retail marijuana establishments in 2014 following an extensive evaluation and scoring process, according to Aurora public information officer Julie Patterson. The city received 58 applications for 24 available licenses when they first started accepting applications in the summer of 2014.

Aurora is only allowing four marijuana businesses per ward, under its 22-page marijuana ordinance passed in early 2014. Ward VI in the city’s southeastern corner has been the only ward without four shops. Only two applicants initially applied for licenses in Ward VI during the first application period in 2014, with one dropping out before licenses were granted. Applications were accepted a second time in late 2014 for those remaining three Ward VI licenses, but only two businesses applied — and qualified.

Applicants not currently operating a retail marijuana establishment in Aurora will need to attend a mandatory pre-licensing meeting to provide the applicant with an overview of the licensing process, and must also submit an application to the state.

As part of the scoring process, applicants are required to meet minimum qualifications in areas like industry experience, criminal background checks, financial backing, staffing, security, business and operating requirements and more, according to city ordinance. A point system will be used for those who exceeded the minimum qualifications in areas such as industry experience and security. Subject matter experts will score the business and operating categories through an independent evaluation process. In the event of a tie, a random drawing will decide who will receive the license from among the top-scoring applicants.

The city will open the application process Oct. 3 for the last license, which will be located in Council Ward VI in southeast Aurora. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Nov. 30. Applications will be reviewed from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31, with the license awarded no later than Feb. 1, according to a news release from the city.

The application and other materials are available online at www.auroragov.org/amed. For more information, contact the Aurora Marijuana Enforcement Division at 303-739-7833 or [email protected].