Rural Colorado town to get state’s first marijuana drive-thru

The tiny western Colorado town of Parachute is getting what is believed to be the state’s first marijuana retailer with a drive-thru window, a move that could attract on-the-go cannabis customers who don’t want to get out of their car.

Tumbleweed Express, as the planned drive-thru will be known, received a business license last year but didn’t open. The Parachute Board of Trustees approved Tumbleweed’s annual license renewal Thursday, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported.

The drive-thru is expected to open for business in March in a former car wash across the street from Tumbleweed’s main location, the newspaper reported. Green Cross Colorado owns both locations.

Parachute’s town manager, Stuart McArthur, called the drive-thru concept “creative and innovative,” and he noted how drivers already have been taking the short detour off Interstate 70 to buy marijuana. Parachute and its other businesses such as restaurants have reaped huge financial benefits since the town repealed its ban on recreational cannabis in June 2015, McArthur told the Post Independent.

Drive-thru cannabis retailers are a relatively new concept for the cannabis industry, but regulators don’t always welcome the innovation.

Last summer, the New Mexico Health Department killed a proposal for a drive-thru dispensary in Albuquerque, citing safety factors involving both customers and employees.

And last March Oregon regulators shuttered the Green Life Oregon – a dispensary in Gold Beach that included a drive-thru window – after authorities ruled it was too close to two local schools.

In 2015, police raided and shuttered an unlicensed drive-thru cannabis retailer in the town of Vancouver, Washington.