DENVER — Denver’s City Council is discussing rules that would allow drive-thru and walk-up marijuana sales to continue after COVID-19 restrictions expire.
Under state law, marijuana drive-thru and walk-up sales are legal, however Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division requires local governments to opt into the rule.
“This is something that allows consumers and medical patients to get the products they need in a way that makes them most comfortable,” said Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group.
Bradley said these conveniences should be made permanent.
“COVID has fundamentally changed the way that consumers and patients interact with retailers, whether that’s groceries, pharmacies, and yes, cannabis,” Bradley said.
While some city council members have already shown support for making to-go cannabis sales permanent, some organizations are questioning the long-term impact of lifting restrictions.
“We’re going to continue to see this industry push to have more avenues to sell its product because the marijuana industry is a for-profit industry that wants to get as many people using its drug as possible,” said Luke Niforatos, executive vice president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).
Niforatos said Colorado voters were promised that marijuana sales would be strictly regulated.
“Yet at every twist and turn, the industry seems to be jumping at opportunities to remove the regulations that we had put on this industry,” Niforatos said.
But Bradley said nearly a decade after legalization, regulations surrounding dispensaries should change overtime.
As the City of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses moves forward with a proposal to allow marijuana delivery services throughout the city, the department’s proposal did not include provisions for to-go sales.
City council members said they plan to continue discussing the issue over the next few weeks.