Weed on wheels is almost a reality in Colorado. A measure introduced in the Colorado Senate last February would allow you to get marijuana delivered directly to your house! If the bill passes, dispensaries could apply for a delivery endorsement and then have an employee drive recreational and medical cannabis or cannabis products right to your front door.
Senate Bill 192 has cleared most of its preliminary hurdles. On May 18, 2017, it was signed by the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House and then sent to Governor Higgenlooper for signature. It will forbid local jurisdictions from prohibiting dispensaries from partaking in a delivery service. Nevertheless, under the new law, dispensaries would have to meet particular standards. For instance, they would have to develop specific training procedures, both for human resources personnel and operational protocols, to be eligible to participate and qualify for the service.
The state already has a Cannabis Tracking System in place. However, with the new process dispensaries would be required to closely document their routes, maintain manifests, and make certain that their inventory records are correct for the products and retail amounts. Drivers, for instance, would be required to log the number of locations on each route as well as track the route between destinations. The product would be required to be kept in a safe-like container inside the vehicle.
This Type of Program is Not New
The Colorado proposal is modeled after an Oregon program that was unveiled in May 2017. Under the Oregon program, individual drivers can carry up to $3,000 of cannabis product for numerous deliveries. Oregon’s State Liquor Control Commission is the agency tasked to supervise all the regulations for the state’s recreational marijuana program. However, like the alcohol industry, Colorado’s cannabis deliveries would be regulated by the Department of Revenue.
The Colorado program would be different in that it will allow for single transactions. Although the Colorado proposal is heavily focused on delivery, many believe that there needs to be protection for the services- and the industry as a whole. For example, the federal government could launch investigations on the cannabis industry. Therefore, as a safety precaution, the retail, delivery operation could potentially transfer the inventory to a medical marijuana dispensary.
The bill has virtually cleared the most difficult hurdles and on May 18 it went to the governor. It’s sponsored by Senator Tim Neville (R-Littleton), along with representatives Jonathan Singer and Jovan Melton.
Assuming that Governor Higgenlooper signs the bill into law, a retail marijuana store must apply for an endorsement that will grant the entity permission to deliver marijuana. Those with an endorsement can then authorize an employee or contractor with a medical or retail marijuana transporter license to make the deliveries. The endorsements for medical marijuana could be slated to early 2018.
How Will It Work?
Under current law, the department of revenue is responsible for determining the average market rate for tax collection on retail marijuana. The bill would give the authority to determine the average market price to the dispensaries. The state licensing authority would require calculation be done on a quarterly basis. The average market rate would not include taxes paid on sales or transfers.
The customer making the order would have to be 21 or older, and he or she would have to sign for it and could not be visibly intoxicated when it is delivered. Dispensary endorsements for medical marijuana would begin in January 2018, and retail in January 2019.
Allegedly, the ordering process would call for an online, text, or phone placement that would include name, address, and completion of an order form. There would be no need for members of the public to register with any state agency before being eligible to place orders for marijuana delivery. A full menu of items would be available for delivery like edibles, wax, shatter, flower, and naturally marijuana to smoke. Hours of operation will be similar to those of current dispensaries.
The packaging would be required to be sealed in childproof containers and comply with current safety laws. If not then the driver will be in violation of the open container statute and receive a ticket; much like with liquor in the car.
Customers would be alleviated from many common issues such as medical restrictions, car problems, kids, traffic, time and waiting in line. Also, you can get the advice of a professional who will assist you in selecting the right strain for your needs. Customers would expect a wait time similar to that of ordering a pizza; 30-45 minutes. However, exceptions should be made during the regular Monday-Friday rush hour. There might be a minimum order required in some instances because of remoteness or location; such as $100. However, there would be no fee for delivery.
This measure was initially introduced in the State Senate as SB 17-192 on February 14, 2017. The last action was taken on May 18 with it being sent for the governor’s signature. There is no indication when or whether the governor is expected to move forward and approve marijuana delivery around the state.
If Higgenlooper does sign the bill into law, we can expect to become accustomed to seeing Weed on Wheels delivery as ubiquitous as Papa John’s, Dominoes or Pizza Hut. Somehow, that sounds like a match made in heaven.
Article By: Alfonzo Porter