Bill Backed by Longmont ’s Jonathan Singer Would Create Permits for Cannabis Home Deliveries

March 13, 2019 GMT

Medical marijuana patients and recreational marijuana customers could get cannabis products delivered right to their door, under a proposed state law introduced on Tuesday.

House Bill 19-1234′s primary sponsors include Reps. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, and Alex Valdez, D-Denver, and Sens. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, and Julie Gonzalez, D-Denver. )

“Establishing a cannabis delivery system will provide consumers with a legal way to access cannabis in their homes, curtail illegal delivery services, and open new markets for legal businesses.” Singer said in a Wednesday news release.

He said in an interview that while people can get prescription drugs delivered to them, the same service isn’t currently available for a medical marijuana patient who may be unable to go to a dispensary in person because of a debilitating illness — as well as patients Singer said shouldn’t be driving because they may be subject to seizures.

“The need for delivery is already evident in the medical community, but the demand is also strong in the recreational markets,” Valdez said in a statement. “By creating a legal system for delivery, we can shut down the thriving illegal market and make sure both consumers and the patients that rely on medical cannabis can access it in a safe, regulated manner.”

Said Singer: “We’re trying to stamp out a black market” that now exists with recreational and medical marijuana being sold and delivered by unlicensed businesses and individuals.

HB 1234 would create a permit system for state- and locally licensed medical marijuana centers and recreational marijuana stores to deliver medical marijuana, medical marijuana-infused products, retail marijuana and retail marijuana products directly to their customers.

If the bill as now written becomes law, the state could begin issuing medical marijuana delivery permits to qualified applicants on Jan. 2, 2020 and could start issuing permits for retail recreational marijuana deliveries on Jan. 2, 2021.

The bill’s backers said in the news release issued by the Denver office of Strategies 360, a research, public affairs and communications company, that Colorado already has “a pervasive, illegal network of underground delivery operators, who skirt local and state laws and regulations.

“Under this new law, a legal framework would be established to combat this illegal activity,” Strategies 360′s staff said.

The bill would give Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division the authority to develop rules related to eligibility for delivery licenses, training requirements, safety provisions, record keeping and tracking, as well as limits on amounts and types of deliverable products.

HB 1234, which has been referred to the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee for a yet-to-be-scheduled hearing, would require drivers to be tracked from the time they leave the store to the time they arrive at the front door and verify consumer’s identification twice, the bill’s backers said.

Singer, whose House district represents part of Longmont and extends across northern Boulder County, and Marble, whose Senate District extends through southwest Weld County into Broomfield, also are sponsors of a bill that would allow the state and local licensing of cannabis “hospitality establishments,” locations where people could gather to consume marijuana and marijuana products on-site.

That House Bill 19-1230 also has been assigned to the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee for its initial hearing, currently scheduled for March 27. Singer said it’s possible that HB 1234, the marijuana delivery bill, could be set for that committee’s hearing that same day.

John Fryar: 303-684-5211, jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc