How to Get Your MED Key or Support Badge

Tips to Help You Get Started in the Cannabis Business

By Hemp Temps - November 8, 2019

Getting started in the cannabis industry in Colorado can be confusing! There are many rules and regulations, unlike other legal states. The Colorado Department of Revenue says this regarding the strict cannabis regulations in Colorado, "The Marijuana industry in Colorado is one of the most scrutinized businesses in the state, because Colorado citizens want the industry and everyone involved in it free from even the hint of any corruption or deceit. That's why we take our regulation of the industry very seriously, including the issuance of licenses."

To prevent corruption and deceit, people who want to work with weed in Colorado must obtain a MED Occupational License. This license allows the person to work inside licensed Medical and Retail Cannabis facilities and/or for vendors that provide services to licensed businesses.

The MED Occupational License comes with a Key or Support Badge, which is proof you're allowed to work with THC in Colorado. You must have this badge on you, and it must be visible at all times while you work with weed. MED officials stop by to licensed facilities like grows and dispensaries to make sure businesses are following the rules. The badge quickly shows MED Officials that employees have their MED Occupational License and that they're allowed to work with cannabis. There are two types of licenses/badges to choose from:

  • Key Badge: This is good for employees that make operational or management decisions. An example of such an employee is a master grower or store manager. Note for those wishing to work at Hemp Temps: if you have a Key Badge with no real management experience, there's no guarantee that you'll be made a supervisor at Hemp Temps right away; you must show us leadership first. It's good to start with a Support badge, and you can upgrade to a Key Badge!

           The application fee is $250

  • Support Badge: This is good for employees that work in the business but doesn't make operational decisions. Examples of such an employee would be a budtender, trimmer, packager, or harvester. 

           The application fee is $75 

If MED Officials find that an employee of a cannabis business is not following the rules, there can be real consequences. Many hiring managers ask candidates to show proof of their MED Badge before they can even land an interview! At Hemp Temps, we ask that you have your MED Badge before applying. So how can a cannabis industry hopefull get their MED Occupational License? Just follow these simple steps:


Step 1: Make sure you qualify!

Before you apply, make sure you qualify. You could spend $75-$250 on the application to find out it was denied. The rules are relatively strict, so be sure that can prove these things:

  • You must be a Colorado resident and have a Colorado driver's license or other Colorado ID to prove it
  • You must be 21 or older
  • You must never have been convicted of a felony for the use, distribution or possession of a controlled substance
  • You must not have served time, including parole or probation for a felony within the last five years
  • You mustn't be a physician who makes cannabis recommendations
  • You've never have been a primary caregiver and had your authority revoked by the state
  • You are not living with or related to an employee of the Marijuana Enforcement Division
  • You are not a prosecuting officer or actively working as a member of law enforcement
  • You are not an officer or employee of the marijuana state licensing authority or local licensing authority

If you're new to Colorado and don't have a driver's license yet, get one! You must have a Colorado state-issued ID, because, without one, your MED Occupational License application will be considered incomplete, and they will not process it. A US Passport does not count, nor does an ID from another state. Getting an ID is as easy as walking into your local DMV, but be sure to have all the identification requirements needed to prove you're currently living in Colorado.


Step 2: Complete your application

Now that you've determined you're qualified, you can go ahead and start filling out the paperwork! You can download the application here

Right now, the application is 12 pages long. It's relatively easy to fill out, especially if you don't have any arrests to disclose, which means you only have ten pages (you still need to sign and date each page and write N/A where applicable). A previous MED requirement was to get your application notarized, but as of the writing of this blog post, you don't need it notarized. Awesome! One less step for you! 

If you have arrests to disclose, be sure to list them all. Your application will not necessarily be denied if you've been arrested, but it may be denied if you fail to disclose an arrest (unless it was sealed or expunged).

After filling everything out, look it over carefully; double-check that you've signed and dated every page, filled in every line, and check-marked where needed. Be sure that you've filled your application out honestly. The MED does a background check, and they will find irregularities. 


Step 3: Schedule an appointment at one of the MED offices

To get your MED Occupational License application processed, you must make an appointment with one of the four MED offices in Colorado to submit it. They also get your fingerprints and take a photo for your badge during this appointment. MED offices are spread out to different populated areas of Colorado to meet the demand for licensees. Despite multiple locations, there is usually a wait, so make an appointment right away! To make an appointment, send an e-mail to one of the following:

  • For the Lakewood office:
  • For the Grand Junction office:
  • For the Colorado Springs office: 
  • For the Longmont office: 

A brief e-mail that says you'd like to make an appointment for the soonest opening is fine. If they respond with an exceptionally long wait (wait times vary throughout the year), you can ask them to put you on a cancellation notification list. You can also e-mail all four locations to see which has the soonest opening. Grand Junction typically has less of a wait, but it would be a road trip if you're living in the Denver area!

When the time comes, don't be late! Many people may have the same appointment time as you, and the order in which they receive people is the order in which people came. Bring a print out of your completed application and bring any legal documentation needed to prove you qualify for the license. You'll also need your Colorado Drivers License or Colorado ID. Finally, don't forget a form of payment, and remember that if you're paying cash, you can only do so at the Lakewood office, and it must be exact change.


Step 4: Get your badge and start applying!

If your application is approved, you'll receive your MED Badge in the mail a few days later. Finally, you can start working with weed! Apply to work at Hemp Temps today! We don't require you to have any previous cannabis experience because we'll train you for success. We'll schedule you to a variety of jobs at different locations, so you'll gain a ton of experience. Watch this video to learn more about what it's like to work at Hemp Temps.

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