Thornton Council approves weed deliveries

Thornton City Council makes city third to allow marijuana deliveries

Liam Adams
ladams@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/3/21

Thornton-based marijuana dispensaries can now deliver product within city limits. Thornton City Council approved an ordinance with a 6-2 vote at an April 27 meeting, making Thornton the third city in …

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Thornton Council approves weed deliveries

Thornton City Council makes city third to allow marijuana deliveries

Posted

Thornton-based marijuana dispensaries can now deliver product within city limits.

Thornton City Council approved an ordinance with a 6-2 vote at an April 27 meeting, making Thornton the third city in Colorado to allow the enterprise alongside Aurora and Denver. It allows third-party services to deliver retail cannabis to Thornton-based customers.

“I have spoken to our retail providers here and this is exactly what they asked for if we were to have delivery here,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jessica Sandgren. Mayor Jan Kulmann and Councilors Angie Bedolla, David Acunto, Adam Matkowsky and Sam Nizam agreed. Councilors Julia Marvin and Sherry Goodman cast the dissenting votes. Councilor Jacque Phillips was absent for the meeting.

Goodman did not explain why she voted no. Marvin did, though, citing the absence of a social equity provision that, in contrast, Aurora and Denver have. Aurora City Council approved retail marijuana delivery and Denver’s did the same April 19.

For the next three years, Aurora will only grant delivery service permits to disadvantaged applicants, according to Sentinel Colorado. Denver’s timeline is six years, according to the Associated Press. The state’s criteria for disadvantaged applicants considers the applicant’s income, place of residence and whether the applicant or their family member was previously arrested for a marijuana offense.

During the April 27 meeting’s public comments, Hashim Coates, executive director of Black Brown and Red Badged, a coalition of cannabis business owners of color, asked Thornton council to consider a social equity provision. “As a city that is over 30 percent Hispanic, I know Thornton prides itself on opportunities for business owners of color,” Coates said.

He added, “Last year, the city issued an RFP for proposals on professional training services for inclusion, diversity and equity training. So, it’s a little disappointing to see this oversight in tonight’s board meetings.”

If Thornton were to have a social equity requirement, Coates explained, the city wouldn’t initially have enough applicants from within the city. So, he asked council to consider amending the ordinance to allow third-party services outside Thornton to deliver into the city.

Marvin agreed with Coates. “It’s a pretty narrow definition of deliver if we’re just keeping it to the stores in the city. I think we are missing an opportunity to have some social equity here,” the councilor said later in the meeting. Before Nizam voted, he said he shared the same concern, but was also worried if an amendment allowing outside delivery services would harm Thornton-based businesses.

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