Five Things to Know Before Ordering Weed Delivery in Denver

Courtesy of Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields is the only Denver dispensary now offering delivery.
Denver history was made last week when the city's first legal recreational marijuana deliveries took place. After a soft launch, Doobba, Denver's first marijuana delivery service, is now handling orders from the public for Strawberry Fields dispensary, with plans to partner with more stores in the near future.

We were lucky enough to get on the list for Doobba's first round of deliveries, and the transaction was smooth and simple enough. But ordering weed isn't the same as ordering pizza or booze, and you'll need  to know a few things before getting text updates regarding your ounce of GMO ZKittlez.

There will be speed bumps
Hey, this isn't just new. It's unique. Marijuana delivery has more rules than alcohol or prescription drug deliveries, and more rules usually bring extra steps and a longer wait. That's not factoring in the geographical size of Denver, either. Until dozens of dispensaries offer the service in Denver and employees are up to speed, expect deliveries to take an hour or longer. Drivers are only allowed to carry a certain amount of product in their cars, and they're not rolling dispensaries — they need to return to the store to fill your order. Text alerts should keep you updated, though, so it's not like your weed dealer texting "On my way," only to show up twelve hours later.

These delivery services aren't allowed to operate under the Uber Eats app, and Apple just started allowing retail marijuana services back in the App Store, so expect the websites to run in a way that's slightly different from what you're used to. Wonky laws surrounding online payment add layers of learning to the ordering process, as not all dispensaries or delivery services can accept pre-payment. Although cards are accepted in person, the quickest route is still to pay in cash, so make sure what's allowed before pressing "order."

Another potential issue: Cash refunds aren't issued for legal marijuana purchases, so if you're delivered the wrong order, you might have to cancel it altogether or wait a while to get the right product in exchange.

The drop-off is easy, but different
This is where customers may get confused. Deliveries have to take place at a private residential address, and the person ordering must be the person picking up the order — but you don't have to live at the residential address to make the order. As long as you're at least 21 with a valid ID, you can order weed delivery at a friend or relative's house. Just make sure you answer the door alone, or multiple IDs will have to be shown in order to finish the transaction.

Hotels and home rentals have different rules
Hotels are different, unfortunately, because they're not considered residential. Anyone ordering marijuana delivery to a hotel will have to prove they're a resident at the hotel and clear it with the staff first, according to the state Marijuana Enforcement Division. Sorry, business travelers. Short-term home rentals are considered private, though, so Airbnbs are in the clear.

This won't be the same as ordering pizza
While we usually use delivery for convenience, there are some steps involved in pot delivery that won't seem convenient at first — things like uploading your ID and confirming that your drop-off location is private and residential.

When my delivery driver arrived, I had to sign two different forms that looked less like weed-purchasing orders and more like invoices for secret documents that will self-destruct in sixty seconds. It's all part of the state laws allowing delivery, but also cumbersome and wasteful considering the amount of paper required (one delivery service in Aurora says it can complete these signatures electronically, but that's currently not the standard). With any luck, some of these steps will be smoothed out as the state loosens up and delivery services streamline their operations.

You're not going to like the fees
Delivery fees shouldn't surprise us. Given all the regulatory crap that marijuana delivery services have to work through to get weed to your door, a little extra on the top is essential for them to make money. But recreational marijuana purchases are already taxed upwards of 20 percent, and those taxes often aren't included in the menu price. Delivery fees depend on your distance from the dispensary, but will likely range anywhere from $5 to $15 (they were waived during the soft-opening tests).

So beware: A $50 purchase will quickly turn into $85 after sales tax and delivery fees, and drivers do accept tips — something most people never dealt with when their old weed dealer stopped by. Order enough to make the fee worth your while, and take advantage of sign-up and launch promotions.