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Summertime, and Delivery’s Easy: An Overview of Denver’s New Delivery Regs

Denver city council approved and Mayor Hancock signed off on a new Denver ordinance allowing for delivery of cannabis by third party vendors to customers back in April 2021. Like other cannabis businesses, a licensee must get a license from the state licensing authority (Marijuana Enforcement Division) as well as the local licensing authority (here, Denver Excise and License).

Denver’s new rules exclusively limit

delivery licenses to “Social Equity Applicants” until July 1, 2024. This also means that although state law says that dispensaries could deliver with the proper permit, the city requires it to be accomplished via a third party delivery company during the first few years, even if the dispensary owners qualify as Social Equity Applicants. Those seeking a delivery license in Denver must also fit the following social equity criteria:

  • The Applicant must be a Colorado resident, and

  • The Applicant has not have previously owned a marijuana business that had its business license revoked, and

At least one of the following:

  • The Applicant resided for at least 15 years between the years 1980 and 2010 in a census tract designated by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade as an Opportunity Zone or designated as a “Disproportionate Impacted Area”; or

  • The Applicant or Applicant’s parent, legal guardian, sibling, spouse, child, or minor in their guardianship was arrested for a marijuana offense, convicted of a marijuana offense, or was subject to civil asset forfeiture related to a marijuana investigation; or

  • The Applicant’s household income in a year prior to application did not exceed 50% of the state median income as measured by the number of people who reside in the Applicant’s household.

Overarching Rules for Delivery:

  • Permits to deliver cannabis are valid for one-year and must be renewed annually

  • A $1 surcharge is assessed on each delivery. That money is used for local law enforcement costs related to marijuana enforcement.

  • Deliveries are limited to one customer or patient per day, limited to private residences, and may not be made to college campuses.

  • Protection against criminal prosecution is provided for those making the deliveries pursuant to applicable laws and regulation.

  • Requires responsible vendor training programs to include marijuana delivery training.

Denver-specific regulations and the application for delivery licenses are expected to be released this summer. The MED is now accepting applications for applicants to obtain Social Equity Status and for state licenses to deliver cannabis. Drivers will be required to track GPS, limit how much cash they can carry, and scan ID Cards upon delivery. The program is expected to be up and running by the end of the summer.

If you are interested in starting a cannabis delivery business in Denver or anywhere else in Colorado, don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like some guidance from experienced cannabis industry attorneys!


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