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Denver to reserve all marijuana delivery licenses for social equity businesses

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 20:30:10-04

DENVER - The City of Denver has plans to reserve all marijuana delivery licenses for social equity businesses.

Social equity businesses are owned by Coloradans who have disproportionately been impacted by the war on drugs.

In Denver, dispensary owners have to partner with social equity delivery businesses if they want to provide delivery.

“We're one year into one adopting delivery, but also adopting our social equity program. And based on feedback we've heard from our transporters and the industry, there's just not a high level of industry participation,” said Molly Duplechian, Denver Department of Excise and Licenses executive director. “So what we want to do is we want to provide certainty to our social equity transporters that they have a path going forward beyond just the next two years.”

In an effort to help those with previous marijuana convictions break into the industry, Denver reserved delivery licenses for social equity businesses for the first three years after delivery was legalized. But Duplechian says few dispensaries have taken advantage of it.

“What we've heard is that some of the existing industry may have been waiting the exclusivity period out, or they could have been investing in a social equity transporter and then planning to move to do their own delivery in two years,” Duplechian said.

Duplechian says the department also plans to lower licensing fees for delivery businesses and dispensaries.

“Some fees are going from $2,000 all the way down to $25. So we're really trying to reduce and remove any barrier that stands in the way,” Duplechian said.

Next, the Department of Excise and Licenses will present the proposal to city council. The department expects the exclusivity clause to take effect within the next few weeks.