Denver's Legal Weed Deliveries Have Started

Doobba co-founder Ari Cohen (right) makes Denver's first marijuana delivery on August 19.
Courtesy of Doobba
Doobba co-founder Ari Cohen (right) makes Denver's first marijuana delivery on August 19.
People have been showing up at Denver doorsteps to sell weed for well over a century, but now some of those deliveries are actually legal.

On August 19, Denver dispensary Strawberry Fields and the Doobba delivery service completed their first legal marijuana deliveries, dropping off orders to six different customers as part of a soft launch. The two companies, which have partnered on the service, will perform ten more deliveries today, and twenty over the weekend. By Monday, August 23, Strawberry Fields and Doobba plan to be fully open to the public, offering delivery options to Denver customers through several online platforms.

"We took the past week or two to get our systems and procedure in order. Now the idea is to create an exclusive period to ensure there are no inefficiencies or pitfalls," explains Strawberry Fields retail operations manager Ethan Shean, who adds that educating shoppers about how to order online is also a challenge.

Strawberry Fields was Denver's first dispensary permitted for delivery, while Doobba was Denver's first delivery service to receive a license. If a dispensary wishes to offer delivery, the city requires that it either qualify under a social equity designation intended to benefit communities harmed by the drug war, or partner with a social equity delivery company, such as Doobba.

Although they're not managing the actual delivery, Shean and his team want to be sure that routes and stops are optimized, and that the quality of products doesn't differ from what customers are used to getting at the store. Strawberry Fields will rely on Doobba to make deliveries across Denver proper during the early stages of the rollout. But according to Shean, Strawberry Fields will look to partner with more transporter services as demand for delivery grows.

"We're relying on transporters for fleet management, and they currently have three vehicles and three drivers," he says of Dooba. "We're talking to some other individuals and teams, but Doobba was first, and we're going to rely heavily on them to translate and communicate our standard."

Doobba's owners, a husband-wife team, say that their service is ready for more dispensaries, as well. Doobba is nearing an agreement to deliver for L'Eagle, according to Doobba co-founder Ari Cohen, and is in talks with Seed & Smith for a future partnership, too.

Cohen has been handling the deliveries during the soft launch, driving around various neighborhoods to better learn future delivery routes — and he's already seeing the excitement and confusion surrounding the new business practice. During his first day on the road, Cohen had to enter a gated community in south Denver to make a delivery.

"The gate guard asked us who we were with and what we were delivering, and she told us to 'get out of here' when we said it was to deliver weed," Ari says, laughing. Ultimately, though, the guard did let the delivery in — and told Cohen she was interested in the service for herself.

Ordering marijuana for delivery works in a similar manner to ordering food or alcohol delivered to your door. Customers go to the Doobba or Strawberry Fields websites — or one of several online dispensary menu services, such as I Heart Jane — and choose a delivery order. They then choose a time frame for the delivery, and receive updates via text message about their order's progress. Doobba is currently giving customers a two-hour time frame for deliveries, Cohen says.

Currently only five other dispensaries — Cookies, Denver Kush Club, Diego Pellicer, L'Eagle and Star Buds — are permitted for delivery in Denver, but none of them have launched the service yet. A handful of stores and transporter services are currently awaiting approval from the city.

But there are signs that things could soon speed up. Earlier this week, Colorado dispensary chain Green Dragon was acquired by California pot delivery service Eaze, and both companies announced their plans to be players in Colorado marijuana delivery. A day later, Colorado marjiuana conglomerate Schwazze announced that it had begun a delivery service at a Star Buds dispensary in Aurora, with plans to expand delivery to other Schwazze-owned dispensaries throughout the state. Euflora, another dispensary chain with locations in Denver and Aurora, has also partnered with a marijuana delivery service to begin deliveries in Aurora.

"Most people still don't know this is available," Cohen notes. "Like anything that's new, normally it would take a year for everyone in Denver to realize they can do this. We're going to try our darnedest to get to that point within three months."