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City of Aurora issues permits for recreational marijuana delivery

If dispensaries have a third party perform the delivery, it must be a social equity licensee that is licensed with the state and with Aurora.

AURORA, Colo. — At least one marijuana dispensary in Aurora is offering deliveries to residents, and more are expected to join soon. 

The city is issuing permits to stores and transporters after an ordinance took effect in January. The ordinance allows Aurora licensed marijuana stores and transporters with delivery permits issued by the state and the Aurora Marijuana Enforcement Division (AMED) to deliver to people in Aurora and to other consumers in jurisdictions that allow delivery.

Stores in Aurora can use their own employees to conduct deliveries. If an Aurora store chooses to contract with a transporter to make deliveries, it must contract with a social equity transporter for the first 36 months beginning February 1, 2021. 

"They want to have a chance to get into this industry because when we first started it, it was basically the people who had money to get into it," said Robin Peterson, manager of Aurora's Marijuana Enforcement Division. 

Peterson said she has already issued some permits to social equity licensees. 

"They just want to have a business in that industry and make a living," she said. 

The state lists several eligibility criteria in order to receive a social equity license. The applicant must be a Colorado resident, has not previously owned a marijuana business that was subject to revocation and the licensee needs to hold more than half ownership in the business. The licensee must also say "yes" to one of the following:

  • The applicant resided for at least 15 years between the years 1980 and 2010 in a census tract designated by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade as an Opportunity Zone or designated as a "Disproportionate Impacted Area";
  • The applicant or applicant's parent, legal guardian, sibling, spouse, child, or minor in their guardianship was arrested for a marijuana offense, convicted of a marijuana offense, or was subject to civil asset forfeiture related to a marijuana investigation; or
  • The applicant's household income in a year prior to application did not exceed 50% of the state median income as measured by the number of people who reside in the applicant's household.

Over at Terrapin Care Station in Aurora, business for marijuana is high. Some customers are now coming back to the counter to purchase their weed but pandemic closures forced everyone to change that habit. 

"When we started the pandemic, online sales accounted for one percent and I am not exaggerating when I say this, overnight they jumped by 1900 percent," said Peter Marcus, communications director with Terrapin Care Station.

Marcus expects Terrapin Care Station will provide deliveries to people in Aurora within the next couple months. Even though stores can use their own employees to make deliveries, Marcus said Terrapin Care Station will use a social equity transporter. 

"When you couple that with the social equity element of it, not only are we creating more opportunity but we are also going to rely on a business that that is their business, the business of delivery," he said. 

Right now, Colorado Harvest is offering deliveries in Aurora. According to their website, they can only deliver to residential due to MED regulations and there may only be one delivery per a household per a day. 


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