Denver recently legalized cannabis delivery and smoking lounges, after years of debate following Colorado’s early legalization. Now, the first business in the city looking to deliver has officially submitted an application.
The business, Doobba LLC, applied for a no premise transport license and delivery permit. Their hope is to become Denver’s first cannabis delivery company.
Run by a husband-and-wife team, the small business is headed up by Karina Cohen and her husband, who qualified for social equity status because her husband has previously been arrested for cannabis.
Cohen attended some of the social equity sessions virtually through the city before applying to learn about the process and whether or not they’d be eligible. Her husband has a long history of working in the cannabis industry, and together, they are excited to take on these new challenges.
“Because the City of Denver’s social equity program truly looks to assist those of us who have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs, this new program Mayor Hancock and his team have created allows professionals like myself to participate in an industry I’m passionate about,” Cohen told High Times.
“My husband has a felony conviction for selling marijuana, but that was lifetimes ago—and now that we all have witnessed the power of this plant and the social good this industry is capable of creating, I am so glad to be able to make a social change, create opportunities for others and pave the way to end cannabis prohibition.
“We are super excited to be the first woman-led, social equity delivery company in Denver. This is a huge step forward in achieving our purpose to end cannabis prohibition.”
The city expects to get more applicants in the coming days based on the amount of questions they’ve been receiving about the process. The changes officially took effect, appropriately, on April 20, but it took until June 23 for applications to be accepted.
Denver Licensing Takes Off
“This is the first time since 2016 that Denver is accepting applications for new retail store and cultivation licenses and the first time ever for delivery,” Eric Escudaro, marketing and communications manager and spokesman for the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, explained. “Denver is also waiving application fees and overall licensing fees are reduced for social equity applicants.
“We have not received any new store or cultivation license applications yet, but expect them soon. We estimate that Denver will begin accepting applications for our new hospitality, hospitality and sales and mobile hospitality licenses in November, so people in the Mile High City will have a place to consume legally outside of their home.
“Denver is proud to see the next era of legalized cannabis begin today in the first market with legalized sales in America with our first application for marijuana delivery. Our community has overwhelmingly voiced support for keeping protections in place to prevent youth access and marijuana-related crime, but also wants delivery and hospitality options for cannabis consumers in the Mile High City. We are most excited that licenses for delivery, hospitality, cultivation and manufacturing of infused products will only be awarded to social equity applicants so there is more equitable access to this nearly billion dollar per year industry in Denver.”
According to the city’s website, a licensing technician reviews each state application and all required documents to determine eligibility. That review does not guarantee a license, and the process can take about 10 business days or longer. Once that initial review process is complete, applicants are then invited to submit a city application for a marijuana business license.
So far, these licenses are only being given out to social equity applicants in the state. In order to be eligible, applicants must have lived in the state for at least 15 years between 1980 and 2010, and must have resided in a “disproportionate impacted area,” have been arrested for cannabis, or have a parent, legal guardian, sibling, spouse, child or minor in their guardianship who was arrested for cannabis, or have a household income the year prior to applying that didn’t exceed 50 percent of the state’s median income.
As the year goes on, the city expects to receive even more social equity licenses for delivery in Denver.