DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver City Council passed a bill to allow marijuana delivery and cannabis lounges along with other changes to the city’s marijuana code on Monday.
Experts say this marks the biggest change in Denver marijuana rules since legalization, but some educators are concerned.
More than a dozen Denver Public Schools principals wrote a letter to council members expressing concern that more pot availability could lead to more youth use. But city officials say surveys show youth use has remained relatively flat since legalization.
Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses said dash cameras would be required, and drivers must use ID scanners to prevent youth use.
“There are strict rules in place in this proposal for deliveries,” Eric Escudero
Denver Department of Excise and Licenses said.
The changes would also allow marijuana tour buses to drive around the Mile High City, where customers could consume on board, and a driver would be separated from second-hand smoke with a barrier.
“That’s the last thing we want to do is have someone driving around who is high,” Escudero said.
For the first six years of business license approval, the city would only license certain people to benefit from the expanded industry through a social equity program. Income level, geography and marijuana arrest records will help Denver ensure those hurt by marijuana prohibition can benefit in the business world.
“It’s really geared towards trying to make sure more people have an economic opportunity to benefit from this multi-billion dollar industry,” Escudero explained.
The changes would also allow for more pot shops, cultivating and manufacturing locations in certain areas of the city. Zoning rules are still in place dictating where the industry can expand.
Once the mayor signs into law, several changes could take effect right away. According to city officials, delivery would likely take several months to begin.