How to Get a Colorado Support Employee Medical Marijuana Badge

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If you're at least 21 and want to legally work for any Colorado business that deals with marijuana products then you need to go through the process of getting badged first, before you can start working.  And luckily for you, I just went through the application process, so I can tell you exactly what to expect.

And once you do have your badge, you're going to be 10 times more appealing to all those dispensaries you've been applying to, so go through this process ASAP!

FILL OUT YOUR APPLICATION

The first thing you're going to want to do is fill out THIS APPLICATION, from top to bottom, so that it's easy to quickly run you through the process, when you arrive at the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) Headquarters.  They ask for pretty basic information but, if you have any questions, give the MED office a call (at this number 303-205-8421), and they will gladly help you out.  Most people have questions about what needs to be listed on their arrest record, since you're about to go through an extensive background check, and you don't want to get caught withholding any information.  Trust me; honesty is the best policy here, and having an old arrest on your record isn't going to keep you from being badged.  They just want ensure that everyone who has one of these badges around their neck is someone with good morals, and a liar just isn't going to cut it.

WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

You'll also want to make sure that you have a photo ID on you, so that you can prove you are who you say you are, on paper.  And, while this may be obvious to many, you have to be a Colorado resident in order to get your badge, so hopefully the ID you're toting around is a Colorado driver's license.  Why?  Because that will not only identify who you are, but it will also serve as your proof of residency.  Otherwise you're going to want to also bring in a pay stub or housing paperwork that lists your name and Colorado address, to prove your residency, since banking statements won't be accepted.

GIMME THE LOOT

OK, so you have your filled-out application and ID/proof of residency in your pocket, but let's not forget the application fee of $150!  So, head to the ATM or write out a check or money order, because you need EXACT CHANGE to make this work.  Sure, you can ask other people in the waiting room for change, but that just slows down the process even more.  Now, if you opt to skip the cash route, just be sure to make your check or money order out to Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR).

HEAD TO DENVER (Or Give the Colorado Springs Office a Call)

Now, you're going to want to grab your filled-out application, ID, proof of residency and money, and get yourself to the Marijuana Enforcement Division at 455 Sherman Street, Suite 390,  Denver, CO 80203.  Their hours are 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.  Now, the building does offer a free parking garage for visitors, but you'll have to move your car every 2 hours and may have a hard time parking in the garage, since it has such tight quarters.  But regardless of where you park, you're going to want to get there around 8 AM and sign in as soon as they'll let you, because people are served on a first-come, first-served basis, based on that sign in sheet.  And luckily for you, the days of the whole "lottery" deal and stamps are long gone, but you have to get here early enough to ensure you are seen, because you have a bit of waiting ahead of you.  And it looks like now you can call the Colorado Springs office and set up an appointment at this number: 719-570-5622.  That will save some people a long drive, since it's at 1030 S. Academy Boulevard, Suite 200, in Colorado Springs.

HAVE A SEAT

And now you wait… Once you're signed in, all you do is have a seat in one of their waiting rooms (or out in the hallway) and wait for them to call your name.  I actually arrived around 8:45 AM on a Monday (seems like one of the busier days) and didn't have my name called until 11:15 AM, so plan on waiting a while.  In fact, plan on this process taking up most of your day, just so you don't have to leave for some prior engagement before you're finished.  And once you get out of your car, you're going to want to make a mental note as to when you need to move your car, in order to avoid a pesky ticket.  I moved my car twice, to be safe, and there always seems to be at least one spot open on that block, or in the parking garage.  In fact, I moved my car once before I actually got to hand in my paperwork, so pay attention to the time.

HAND IN YOUR PAPERWORK

Once your name is called, you'll head to the front desk and hand them your application, money and identification.  They will look over your application and have you fill in any information you left out, let you know if you have everything you need, and then they'll start copying your information and get it into the system.  Like I mentioned above, it's best to call ahead of time to be sure that you have everything, because I saw quite a few people who had to leave and get other paperwork, before they could be processed.

IS THIS SEAT TAKEN?

But soon after that step is taken care of, you will be instructed to go wash your hands down the hallway, and then have a seat and wait for your name to be called again.  And, if you're heading to the bathroom to wash your hands, the door you want to attempt to open doesn't have a door knob.  Quite a few of us (myself included) attempted to turn the knob of a locked door and then ended up waiting in the hallway for a while, because we thought someone was in there.  The bathroom signage is a little confusing so, if you run into this issue, go ahead and push the door without the knob and you're in!  From what I overheard in the office, they are conducting some kind of lower-level background check on all the information you entered on your application, which is why it will be about an hour before they call your name the second time.  They just want to ensure that all the information you provided them with on paper is legit, and that you're eligible to be badged, before they put you through the finals steps.

LUNCH BREAK

But don't show up at the office between noon to one, because all the employees leave for lunch and there's no one there to process your application.  I actually had to wait until after the MED's lunch break before my name was called the second time, but luckily I met a couple cool people who smoked me up at their apartment, while were waiting for the employees to return.  And oddly enough, someone had pizza delivered directly to the waiting room while we were there.  Now, that's a stereotypical stoner move, which was kind of funny, but you'll be asked to eat it outside the office building if you go this route.

FINGERPRINTS AND A PICTURE

And once everyone comes back from lunch, and your name is called a second time, you'll be taken into a side room, with one of the happiest employees in the office.  At this point, I believe your initial background check came back with good results, and it's time for you to have a seat in front of a camera.  While sitting, you'll be informed that in two years, when you need to renew your badge, you'll be mailed an information packet that you need to fill out and mail back, instead of having to go through this process again every two years, which is why you're asked to tell them when you move.  Then the employee will try their best to get you to smile big for your picture, and then hand you your green Marijuana Enforcement Division Licensee lanyard, while your name and picture are being printed onto your badge.  And once you approve the spelling of your name on your badge, you'll move over to the digital fingerprinting machine.  All of your fingerprints will be taken in order for them to put you through one last background check, to ensure that you didn't steal anyone's identity.

SIGN OUT

But as soon as your fingerprints are taken, you will be lead into the waiting room in the back, where you will sign your name on a piece of paper and write your address on an envelope, to finalize the process.  And if you're paying close attention, you'll notice that the envelope you're filling out already contains your badge and acceptance letter.  You just fill out the address for them to avoid it being sent to the wrong place, and then they only mail it to you if you pass the background checks.  Now, you won't get your badge right away, because you still have to pass the fingerprint-based background check, but you should have it mailed to you within a week (it took 5 days for me), as long as there are no issues with your background check.  But they will send you home with a payment receipt, which includes your future license number, so it should be easy for them to check the status for you, if it's taking too long.

THE NIGHTMARE IS OVER

And that's it… you're done… head home!

I'm happy to announce that you no longer have to show up at the MED office 4 to 6 times before you'll make it through the application process.  There are no longer any lotteries or stamps given out; they must have streamlined the process for you!  And as long as you get there first thing in the morning and your paperwork is filled out correctly, you can be sure that you'll get through the process in one day.  Like I said, I got there at 8:45 AM, I was called to hand in my application by 11:15 AM, and then I finished the whole process by 1:20 PM, and that was on a busy Monday.  Just be sure that you DO NOT show up to the MED office after 2:30 PM, because that's their cutoff point, when they no longer start new applicants through the process.  There are probably already quite a few people ahead of you, and the employees need to get all those applicants through the process before 5 PM, so they can go home.

And regardless of what the employees tell you in person or on the phone, they DO still make appointments in special cases.  I was told that they don't, but about 7 people came in at once, with an appointment, and were able to skip in front of everyone else.  So, if you live pretty far from Denver and were are already hired at a business that wants you to get badged, then have your boss set up an appointment for you and anyone else they just hired, and you might be able to cut in line to save some time.  Otherwise, you'll just want to set aside half a day for this and get there early.

I hope this helps lessen your fears of getting badged, and perhaps the next Wookwok Wakening will contain stories of my first day on the job, as a legal courier of marijuana products.  Until then! ;)

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Author: Wookwok

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  • Devin Reyes

    thank you sooo soo much for this! they should post this on the mmed website it helped out so much! i just moved to colorado from north dakota in hopes of working in the MMJ industry! love both your articales you wrote on the colorado MMED process! thank you!

    • Wookwok

      Glad I could help! I hope you land a good job in the industry soon.

  • KCT

    Just wanted to thank you for the excellent article. After reading a couple other pieces describing what a nightmare the process was, I was not looking forward to my visit. Stopped by first thing this morning and it went down exactly as you said. Thanks to you, no surprises! I agree with Devin, a link to this article should be on the MMED website. Cheers!

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      That’s awesome! Glad to hear it turned out as expected, and I hope it gets even easier as time goes on. Once they get around to opening another MMED office down in Colorado Springs I’m sure things will be even faster.

  • Patsi Sardisco

    Thank you to whoever posted this blog. I had no idea where to start.and this gave all the info i needed and more .. thank u so much

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      No problem! I’m glad people are still getting good use out of it. I was a bit in the dark myself before I headed to Denver, so I tried to make it as painless as possible for everyone else.

  • michizzle

    Loved the humor in your writing and very useful on top of it!!

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      Thanks! Glad to be of service.

  • Kevin

    Just went to Denver for the badge…..
    I was first in line and was done in under 30 minutes…..
    Thanks for the help…..

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      Awesome! Glad to hear that the process is a lot quicker now.
      I’m sure things will get a lot easier as time goes on.
      Welcome to the herbal workforce, Kevin!

    • Wendy

      That’s awesome. What day of the week did you go?

  • tyler

    if i got a minor in consumption charge for alcohol when i was 19(25 now) will this affect me from getting my license? my sentence ended up being deferred and all i had to do was pay a fine. I want to go apply for my license but i dont want to waste the money if i will not be accepted due to the MIC..
    any feedback would be greatly appreciated

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      I really don’t think that will keep you from getting your badge, just make sure that you list it on your application so that they don’t think you’re hiding anything. I know people who have gotten in trouble for having too many clones in their car, but they didn’t try to hide that charge, and still got a badge.
      They really just want you to be honest about your past, but felonies are the charges you’re going to have to worry about.

      • tyler

        thanks for getting back to me. I have one other question. How do you get the official documentation from the courthouse you appeared at?
        My case wasnt here in Denver. Can you get an electronic copy that you can print or do i have to make a trip to the county that my offense occurred in?

        • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

          I would imagine that a faxed or emailed document would suffice. I think some people went in, were told they needed documents, and left to call the place and have it sent to them that day. I really doubt they expect you to get the originals. I think they just want to see an official looking document, so that they don’t have to go through the process of getting the documents themselves, if they even can.

  • Guest

    Thanks for the walk thru. Having to do this next week. It’s nice to know what to expect.

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      Hope it goes well! Glad I could help out.

  • Zak Biggs

    Would a felony convicion for Maijuana in another state keep me from getting a badge? I mean if it is legal in CO but illegal everywhere else I don’t see how a felony for mairjuana should be a factor since I would be working with the same thing that I got a felony charge for. Just wondering.

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      It really depends, but marijuana convictions are probably going to be at the bottom of the list of things that will keep you from getting a badge. I think what they usually recommend is that you do the same low-level background check on yourself, see what pops up, and then be sure to include everything that comes up, on your application. As long as you’re honest about it, and there weren’t any heavier drugs or weapons involved, there’s a good chance that they’d still approve you.

  • matt

    I have a misdemenor charge for paraphanalia (vaporizer). Would i still be able to get the badge, i read somewhere you cant if you have any kimd of drug related charge but im not sure if thats true.

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      Most marijuana-related charges won’t be an issue, Matt. And given that it’s only a paraphernalia charge, you’re probably the least of their worries. Just make sure that you disclose the arrest when you fill out your application and you should be good to go. You do have to disclose any arrests due to controlled substances but, like I said, marijuana charges are usually not the type of charges that will keep you from having a badge.

  • Lou Raio

    Very informative, but let’s say I currently live in NY and want to drop everything I’m doing right now and drive to Colorado and begin a career in the legal marijuana field? Is there a way for me to get my foot in the door ASAP before going through this kind of a process?

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      If you want to work in the field legally then you’ll have to get badged. But you can always become a caregiver, by getting people to sign their 6 (or more) plants over to you when they get their “red card” (it isn’t red anymore). That way you’re required to provide them with their medicine, and you can grow quite a few plants for them. Otherwise, just move here, switch your address on your credit cards or wait until your first bill for anything comes in the mail with your CO address on it, get your driver’s license, and then go get your badge.

  • Lindsay

    Awesome post. But here’s a question I haven’t been able to locate. What does the criminal background consist of? Will having a traffic bench warrant in another state disqualify one from being approved?

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      I really doubt that would hold you back at all, Lindsay. But I’m not exactly sure what all they check in their background checks. I think it’s a basic background check, but you can always call them, ask what background check they’re going to use, get a background check on yourself, and see what pops up. That’s what a lot of people do to be sure that they list everything that actually shows up through the background check.

  • Tony

    Does it come in the mail? Or do they give it to you there?

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      They mail it to you if you’re approved. It only took 5 days before they sent me mine.

  • Sean

    Great article! Is it possible to get this badge or another badge if you are a registered medical marijuana under the age of 21? I am really interested about working in this industry and want to get moving as soon as possible. I just did not want to head all the way to Denver to find out that I still have to wait a year or so when I’m 21.

    • https://www.youtube.com/WookwokPro Wookwok

      I believe you have to wait until you’re 21 to get badged, unfortunately.

  • Lisa

    Thanks so much for this info! It really helped me prepare. I just went into today (Wednesday) to the Denver office and was in and out within an hour. I got there at 8:30am. Very painless! One question: do you find dispensaries want employees to have their red card as well?