Ask a Stoner: Why Are Dispensaries Charging Fees for Paper Bags?

Dear Stoner: I was recently charged a ten-cent bag fee for a small paper bag at a dispensary. I thought that was only at grocery stores.

Dear Perturbed: Denver's citywide ordinance dictating that ten cents be charged for plastic bags primarily affected grocery stores, but a statewide law implemented on January 1 took things much further. The law requires all stores and retail food establishments to charge ten cents for recycled paper or single-use plastic bags in 2023; in 2024, only paper bags will be an option, and you'll still need to pay.
click to enlarge Colorado dispensary bag fee
Even recycled paper bags are subject to the new fee.
Herbert Fuego
Both laws were passed as efforts to get us to rely on reusable bags instead of generating plastic waste, which is an effort I can get behind. These changes will come with growing pains (I now own twenty reusable grocery bags because I keep forgetting them in my car), but taking bags to the store isn't very hard. That said, the state could have done a better job of educating Coloradans about the upcoming change, because Walmart seems to be the only entity to have effectively communicated the issue. I don't blame dispensaries for not being in the loop, but any pot shop charging you the fee without telling you first deserves criticism, and you should share your displeasure. Who needs a bag for a small jar of weed, anyway?

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego

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