Cannabis delivery and hospitality locations could start this summer in Denver, after the City Council unanimously agreed to overhaul the local cannabis industry by passing two measures on April 19.
To make Denver's cannabis industry more diverse, equitable and inclusive, city officials have been working on making changes to the industry's cannabis laws for several years, The Denver Post reported.
The first bill would lift Denver's license cap on new stores and cultivation facilities, which has been in place since 2016. According to The Denver Post, it would also permit dispensaries to hire third-party vendors to deliver cannabis directly to consumers.
As previously reported by Cannabis Business Times, social equity applicants are the only people who would be able to receive a delivery license until 2024, while permits for hospitality businesses, stores, transporters, cultivation and manufacturing facilities would be limited to social equity applicants until 2027.
The second measure would legalize cannabis consumption facilities such as bars and clubs, where customers could bring cannabis to consume, and clubs could sell small amounts of cannabis for consumption, The Denver Post reported. The measure would also allow the city to implement cannabis tour buses or shuttles, where people can consume cannabis on board while being taken on a tour around the city.
While city Mayor Michael Hancock supports both measures, over a dozen Denver public school principals wrote a joint letter to the city council expressing their concerns. The letter stated that increasing cannabis availability could lead to a rise in cannabis consumption among young people, the Associated Press reported.
Denver Department of Excise and Licenses spokesman Eric Escudero said the proposal has strict rules for cannabis deliveries. According to the Associated Press, vehicles would be required to have cameras, and drivers would have to use ID scanners to prohibit underage people from requesting deliveries.
Additionally, a barrier would be installed on the cannabis tour busses and shuttles to separate drivers from secondhand smoke while driving.
"That's the last thing we want to do is have someone driving around who is high," Escudero said. The measure is "geared towards trying to make sure more people have an economic opportunity to benefit from this multibillion-dollar industry."
Cannabis deliveries could begin by late summer, but at this time, it is unclear when the consumption clubs, shuttles and buses would open, Escudero said.
The changes now await the mayor's signature for final approval.