Pandemic re-leaf: is 4/20 Day coming early for Aurora residents?

Aurora, Colorado – Colorado's third-largest city will likely authorize recreational marijuana delivery, which could take effect by early 2021.

The Aurora City Council announced preliminary approval for recreational marijuana delivery in the first of two votes on the issue (stock image).
The Aurora City Council announced preliminary approval for recreational marijuana delivery in the first of two votes on the issue (stock image).  © Dmitry Tishchenko/123RF

The Aurora City Council voted on Monday in a preliminary 8-2 decision to permit at-home delivery of recreational marijuana. A second vote will take place in two weeks' time.

The city, which is home to over 400,000 inhabitants, would be one of the first in the country to authorize recreational pot delivery.

Supporters cited coronavirus safety as a motivating factor for approval. City Councilmember Alison Coombs told The Denver Post: "Delivery is needed particularly because of the pandemic," adding, "Folks are having to stay safely in their homes."

The marijuana business is highly regulated. Colorado mandates that weed transport services employ GPS tracking and have cameras fixed on the product at each step of delivery. Security alarm systems are also required.

Customers' information will also be recorded, including their date of birth and delivery address.

Aurora's proposal includes "social equity" measures

Aurora is the third-largest city in Colorado.
Aurora is the third-largest city in Colorado.  © Visit Aurora

The proposal also includes "social equity" measures designed to prioritize victims of the nation's War on Drugs, which wreaks havoc on low socioeconomic Black and brown communities to this day.

According to The Denver Post, "Colorado defines a social equity applicant as someone who has been arrested or convicted of a marijuana offense, suffered asset forfeiture due to a cannabis-related investigation or who has lived in an economic opportunity zone for at least 15 years between 1980 and 2010, among other qualifications."

Only people who fulfill those criteria will receive transporter licenses in the first three years of the delivery program.

Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, says Aurora's approach will help "increase diversity and inclusion in the cannabis market."

However, the social-equity measures only apply to third-party distributors. The 24 marijuana dispensaries in the city are not bound by the restrictions and are free to set up their own delivery systems.

Cover photo: Dmitry Tishchenko/123RF

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