The Next Phase of the Mile High Marijuana Industry: Cannabis Consumption

DENVER (KDVR) — Since the implementation of recreational marijuana dispensaries after legalization, the industry has spread its roots in the Mile High City and is taking the next step.

Last year, Denver revised its marijuana regulations to include delivery and hospitality licenses. As a result, you can now have marijuana delivered to your home and some companies are preparing to roll out a new model: consuming cannabis in their store.

But a big part of that overhaul was to embed social justice into the hiring process.

“Since we opened the consumption license applications a few months ago, we have seen three applications that have been submitted,” said Molly Duplechian, executive director of Denver Excise and Licensing.

Duplechian said several other parties have been contacted with an interest in applying for a permit for the city’s cannabis consumption program. The department’s focus is on routing the process in social justice.

“We’ve evolved, we’ve changed and we’ve identified this area where we can improve and do better,” Duplechian said.

According to Denver’s Cannabis Business and Employment Opportunity Study, 74.6% of licensed cannabis business owners within city and county boundaries are white, as are 68% of employees.

Hispanic, Latino, and Hispanic residents account for 12.7% of cannabis business owners and 12.1% of industry employees, while Black and African American residents account for 5.6% of ownership and 5.9% of workers in the industry.

As for how this industry will develop over the next five years, with supply and consumption companies becoming the norm, Duplechian said the sky is the limit.

“I think the possibilities are endless and we’re excited to see the different ideas the applicants can come up with,” Duplechian said.

All consumer license applicants must go through a hearing where the public can either support or oppose the new venture in their area.

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