Debate Over Future of Denver Cannabis Licensing Continues

The city’s Marijuana Licensing Work Group met on Tuesday to discuss the issue

Denver is still searching for a way to balance new businesses and industry diversity within legal marijuana as a city advisory committee wraps up discussions on future marijuana licensing policy.

The city’s Marijuana Licensing Work Group — a 24-person panel created earlier this year to advise the mayor and city council on potential marijuana delivery and hospitality businesses with a social equity lens in mind — met Tuesday, September 29, for the fifth time to discuss the future of Denver’s marijuana licenses. Although much that future still looks hazy with no scheduled meetings left and the recommendations scheduled to be delivered to Mayor Michael Hancock and the Denver City Council by November, there was some resolution in future social equity matters.

Marijuana delivery and social consumption were legalized at the state level earlier this year, but the laws allow local governments to opt in or out of the new license types. (Denver has allowed social pot consumption businesses at the local level since 2017, but the city’s rules are more strict than the new state law’s.) We still don’t know if Denver will ultimately opt into delivery or social consumption, but the final MLWG discussion shows that socially equitable licensing preferences will likely be involved if they are.

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