Colorado Bill Gives Counties Authority to Adopt Establishment Licensing

On June 8, 2022, House Bill 22-1300 (HB 22-1300) was signed into law by Governor Polis, allowing counties, cities, and towns in Colorado to adopt local ordinances. The intent of a local ordinance is to prevent human trafficking-related offenses that occur in illicit businesses that represent themselves as massage establishments. HB 22-1300 takes effect August 10, 2022.

How Will It Work?
If a county wants to adopt a local regulation or ordinance, this bill makes it possible for a board of county commissioners to establish massage therapy business licensure requirements. The business licensure requirements will regulate massage establishments for the sole purpose of deterring illicit sex businesses that engage in human trafficking-related offenses. HB 22-1300 allows establishment licensure fees; the amount is likely to vary from ordinance to ordinance.

Involvement From Law Enforcement
HB 22-1300 requires local enforcement, such as county and municipal police departments, to conduct background checks on an applicant or licensee. The information collected will then be given to the municipality to determine whether the applicant or licensee can be approved or denied for a massage therapy establishment license, dependent on any criminal history.

How Will This Affect Me?
This bill was created to help address human trafficking and illicit sex businesses across the state. Some larger urban and suburban areas have already adopted massage therapy establishment licensing, including Denver and Colorado Springs. These cities were able to do so because they have “home rule” authority—this means they are able to perform some functions without having to get express authority from the state. Not all municipalities or counties have this authority. HB 22-1300 gives authority to non-home rule counties and municipalities to be able to adopt establishment licensing, should they choose to do so.  

If you have questions about HB 22-1300 and how it may impact you or your practice, please contact the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies at

Effective: August 10, 2022.