Backlog Persists for Colo. Medical Marijuana Licenses

Dozens operate without completed permits


Nearly 100 Colorado medical-marijuana businesses are operating without a finalized state license, the remnants of a bureaucratic backlog now stretching back more than three years.

In the language of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, these businesses are "operational pending." What that means is the businesses are allowed to remain open — growing and selling marijuana — while the state conducts its investigation and decides whether to approve or deny the applications the businesses submitted in 2010.

The state has made tremendous progress in clearing its backlog of pending applications — there were more than 900 of them a year ago — and hopes to eliminate the backlog this month.