The Denver City Council is set to consider a new plan to make cannabis delivery licenses permanently exclusive to social equity companies, according to an Axios report.
Per city regulations, any business owner considered to have been disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition can qualify for a social equity license. The proposal is being pushed by the Department of Excise and Licenses in an effort to facilitate a more diverse cannabis industry after the first eight years of regulated cannabis led to an industry largely dominated by white males.
“Everyone should have a chance to find opportunity in Colorado’s cannabis industry. The barriers to entry can be really, really high — especially for social equity entrepreneurs.” — Marijuana Industry Group Executive Director Truman Bradley, via Axios Denver
Denver established its social equity-based delivery regulations last year alongside a similar plan for social consumption lounges but, while the plan was initially to sunset the social equity requirements in 2024, the new proposal would see them extended indefinitely. Experts, however, warn the city may already be so saturated with adult-use retailers that there might not be a significant market left for delivery services. According to city data outlined by Axios, delivery transactions account for less than 0.5% of Denver-based cannabis industry sales, and of the city’s 208 licensed dispensaries, just nine offer delivery options.
The proposal will appear before the Denver City Council for consideration sometime in the coming weeks, a Department of Excise and Licenses spokesperson said.
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