Denver’s local government just announced a Marijuana Licensing Work Group (MLWG) that will help make recommendations in the newly relevant areas of cannabis licensing. 

According to a press release, the group is made up of representatives from the business community, social justice activists, public health and safety officials, and youth specialists. Their goal will be to make recommendations on new cannabis licensing laws and rules in the best interest of all those involved with, and impacted by, the industry.

“We’re pleased to get such a diverse group of individuals to provide critical input evaluating new cannabis licensing possibilities in the Mile High City that are optional as a result of changes to state law,” Eric Escudero, director of communications for Excise and Licenses in Denver, told High Times. “We will continue to have a keen focus on safety and making sure there is equitable access to any new licenses so those who were disproportionately negatively impacted by marijuana prohibition can have equitable access to our cannabis industry.”

The main reason this group was formed is that in May of 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed two bills into law, one which allows for home delivery, HB 19- 1234, and one which allows for social consumption, HB 19- 12330. So far, not much has been done in terms of putting these bills into practice in Denver because local jurisdictions have to opt in in order to allow delivery or social consumption. Denver has yet to figure out how to really move forward with the new business model. 

There is also so much demand for cannabis businesses in Denver currently that there’s a lottery process to be able to sell or cultivate. That, combined with the fact that the cannabis industry in the city is seeing to be more equitable, makes the process for delivery and social consumption licenses something that needs to be handled with care. 

The organization will be tasked with making their formal recommendations to Mayor Michael Hancock in Denver and the Excise and Licenses’ Office of Marijuana Policy with insight about how, and if, these things should be rolled out. 

The COVID-19 crisis has already pushed Denver toward at-home ordering and curbside pickup, so delivery is the next logical step, and social consumption is no doubt a tempting way to boost funds as businesses begin to reopen. The group will take those facts, as well as problems and setbacks, into consideration.

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