1st Denver marijuana delivery service closes as city proposes fee changes

Less than a year after Denver’s first licensed cannabis delivery service opened, the owners have closed the business, voluntarily surrendering its state and local licenses.

Doobba’s decision to close comes as the city licenses another marijuana retailer to partner with a delivery service and also considers changing its delivery-fee structure.

The Denver Business Journal first reported that Doobba ceased operations in June on the heels of Denver earmarking marijuana delivery licenses for social equity applicants last year.

Doobba, owned by Ari and Karina Cohen, was originally slated to be working with Colorado marijuana retail chain Strawberry Fields to deliver products.

Ari Cohen told Politico that it wasn’t the program’s fault the business closed but, rather, the high cost of business regulations.

In related news, Denver recently approved a delivery permit for Colorado retail chain Native Roots’ medical and retail stores at its 500 Grant location.

“This is the largest-volume marijuana store in Denver history to get a delivery permit, which makes them eligible to partner with a social equity designated transporter (delivery company) to deliver their product,” Eric Escudero, spokesperson for the city’s Excise and Licenses department, said in a news release.

Right now, only nine of Denver’s 206 marijuana store locations are actively doing delivery, according to Escudero. Native Roots would make 10.

“This is a positive step for Denver delivery companies who are struggling to survive with not many stores to do delivery for,” Escudero said.

Under Denver rules, marijuana stores are:

  • Prohibited from making their own deliveries.
  • Required for the first three years of the city’s delivery program to partner with a social equity transporter to deliver their product.

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The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses last week proposed that the City Council reduce licensing fees for social equity companies making deliveries and to cut fees for stores seeking a delivery permit.

The proposal would also make permanent the restriction forbidding stores to conduct their own deliveries.

Bart Schaneman can be reached at bart.schaneman@mjbizdaily.com.