Cannabis Changes in Denver

On the eve of 4-20, 2021, The Denver City Council approved some big changes to its cannabis laws which will make Denver a more marijuana-friendly city.  

Expected to begin in late summer, dispensaries can now hire third-part vendors to deliver marijuana directly to customers.  Denver joins Boulder, Longmont, Superior and Aurora as municipalities that allow for direct delivery of cannabis products to consumers.  In addition to deliveries the City Council also approved the licensing of hospitality business that allow for on-site consumption of cannabis products including edibles and inhalables.  This would allow for legalized establishments where customers could bring in their own cannabis to consume, as well as establishments where customers could purchase small amounts of cannabis to be consumed on the property.  Essentially a bar where you could go in order a Bowl of favorite cannabis brand and enjoy with your friends. In addition, the City Council approved on board consumption of cannabis of licensed tour buses and shuttles.

Other changes approved by the City Council of Denver include:

  • Removing the 220 -store recreational cap within the city of Denver
  • Permitting the licensing of new retail, extraction facilities and cultivation facilities which has been frozen since 2016.
  • Eliminating the lottery system used to award new licenses.  This is no longer relevant since the number of cannabis businesses in the City of Denver is not limited.
  • Making permanent pandemic changes that allow for drive-thru and walk-up sales.
  • Providing exclusive access for new licenses to social-equity applicants for the first six years.  This is for Colorado residents that have been negatively affected by the U.S. War on Drugs, with lower incomes and residing in impoverished areas.  This is to allow for a more diverse group of cannabis business ownership in the City of Denver.
  • Changing the way setbacks and restrictions are calculated and measured.  A small change, measuring from the “nearest external portion of the building” rather than the “nearest portion of the building in which the retail marijuana store is located”.
  • Requiring retail outlets to include locked overnight storage facilities for marijuana products and cash in the facility. 

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