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Are You Prepared to Comply?

Denver Approves Drive-through & Walk-up Sales and Imposes New Rules for Overnight Secure Storage Effective January 1, 2022

Here’s What You Need to Know:

On October 5, 2021, the Department of Excise and Licenses (“EXL”) adopted Rules Governing Cannabis Storage and Service Windows. The rules impose new requirements for secure overnight storage of marijuana and cash at marijuana sales businesses and hospitality establishments and provide regulations for drive-up and walk-up windows at dispensaries. The Denver Revised Municipal Code requires that all marijuana stores and retail marijuana hospitality and sales businesses comply with rules for secure storage of cannabis by January 1, 2022. THAT'S IN LESS THAN ONE MONTH!

Licensees should ensure that their plans for compliance meet all applicable laws, rules, and regulations before beginning any modifications to licensed premises. Of particular importance, while a modification of premises (“MOP”) application is not required for changes made to comply with the new storage requirements, certain changes “such as constructing a vault, adding doors, changing locking hardware, adding pry shields to doors, and others, may require licensees to submit plans to Denver’s Department of Community Planning and Development for review and approval.”

Additionally, marijuana stores and retail marijuana hospitality and sales businesses offering drive-up or walk-up service windows must comply with additional rules regarding safety, security, compliance procedures, and required signage.

The following checklists provide additional guidance on the process for complying with these rules. RZA is able to assist in developing SOPs to ensure compliance. Click here for a downloadable PDF.

A few Q&As about this new change:

Q: Do I need the City of Denver’s approval to make changes to my facility related to secure storage?

A: Maybe. While a local MOP application is not required for changes made to the licensed premises for the purpose of complying with Section 3 of the Rules Governing Cannabis Storage, as mentioned above, certain changes may require other approvals. Reach out to RZA Legal if you are thinking of other modifications above those required to comply with this upcoming change.

Q: Who will determine whether my premises complies with the secure storage requirements?

A: During your annual EXL compliance inspection in 2022, an EXL inspector will check to see that your premises complies with the new requirements. If your premises is not yet in compliance, you will be required to demonstrate that you are taking meaningful steps toward compliance.

Q: How do I update my floor plan to reflect my secure storage plans?

A: If necessary, after your annual compliance inspection in 2022, an EXL inspector will direct you to submit an updated floor plan that reflects the secure storage components. RZA Legal has years of experience working with EXL and submitting Requests to Amend Floor Plans—let us know if this is something we can take off your plate.


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