We talk to a lot of people trying to break into the cannabis industry every single day. It’s our job to get people hired, after all. The question we receive most often here at Vangst is, “How do I get started in the cannabis industry?”

So we’ve made it easy for you and break it down here.

If you’re looking to work at a location where THC product is grown, extracted, sold, or present in virtually any way, the first thing you’ll need to do is get your MED badge

You do not need a badge for CBD work if there is no THC, but all jobs related to THC products require employees to have a MED badge. 

Basically this is your key to being legally permitted to work for any cannabis business, whether it’s at a grow site or a dispensary.

Oh, and it’s the only way you can get paid good money for your hard work – which is the goal here, if we’re all on the same page.

Obtaining a MED badge requires disclosing any past criminal history. But some dings on your record won’t necessarily disqualify your application. However, the powers that be are particular about what qualifies as an official record and not providing the correct document could get your application rejected. Don’t trust a an online database to produce the documents.

If you need to speak to someone about obtaining your official records the contact MED Badge Help. They help with retrieval of official records from states outside of Colorado, too.

Keep reading to learn how to get your MED badge in Colorado!

For most cannabis jobs, employers won’t even look at job applicants without a MED badge, officially known as a MED Occupation License. Avoid this awkward situation by being prepared and following these steps!


Types of Licenses:

  • Support Employee: for employees that work within the business but do not make operational decisions.
    • Example jobs: Budtender, Trimmer, Packager
    • Application fee: $75
  • Key Employee: for employees that make operational or management decisions that directly impact the business.
    • Example jobs: Master Grower, Cultivation Director, Dispensary Manager
    • Application fee: $250

Both types of licenses are good for two years from the issue date.

Now you know what you’re working towards. Follow these five easy steps and you’ll be on your way to working in cannabis in no time!

Step One: Check your eligibility for a MED license.

The first part is easy: Live in Colorado. You must be a Colorado resident with a valid state ID when applying for a MED license. Have your Social Security number handy, too!

You also must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have never been convicted of a felony related to the possession, distribution, or use of any controlled substance.
  • Have not served a sentence, including probation or parole, of any felony in the last five years.
  • Are not a licensed physician making patient recommendations.
  • Have never had your authority to act as a primary caregiver revoked by the state.
  • Are not the spouse or child, living in the house with any employee of the MED.
  • Are not a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, or prosecuting officer.
  • Are not an officer or employee of the marijuana state licensing authority or a local licensing authority.

Always read the fine print. We suggest reading through the entire application below to make sure you’re fully eligible to obtain a MED license before you begin to fill it out.

Step Two: Complete and sign an application.

Yes, it’s paperwork. But everything’s more fun in cannabis – and you want a job, right? Eyes on the prize.

The application can be found here on the Colorado official state website under its official name, the Marijuana Support / Key Occupational Employee License Application.

Please note that certain pages must be notarized, which is much easier than it sounds. Certain UPS stores will notarize for you!

Step Three: Make an appointment at a MED office.

Lucky for you, there are four MED offices choose from here in Colorado! They have offices in Lakewood, Longmont, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction.

If you’re heading to the Lakewood office, send an email to to schedule an appointment.

For other locations, call the following numbers to schedule an appointment:

Colorado Springs: (719) 570-5622
Longmont: (303) 866-2274
Grand Junction:  (970) 248-7181

Step Four: Submit your application and application fee.

You can pay with cash, check, or money order depending on the location!

Exact cash is accepted at the Lakewood office in addition to check, money order, or credit card. The other locations will accept checks or money orders made payable to Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR).

At your appointment, you’ll have your photo and fingerprints taken for state records after submitting all of your documentation.

Step Five: Receive your MED badge in the mail!

Once all documentation is submitted, fees are paid, and the state completes a background check, you’re good to go. If (and when) you pass, you’ll receive your badge directly by mail.

And that’s that! You’re now equipped with everything you need to know about how to get your MED badge in Colorado.

If you’d like to download a step by step guide to getting your MED badge to take on the go, click the button below!

Download the guide

Now go find cannabis jobs near you on Vangst GIGS!
Contact and access the app to get started today!