MED Confirms Transporter License Requirement; Denver to Accept Applications

Author: David R. Wunderlich, Esq.

Third party couriers may no longer transport marijuana and marijuana-infused products in Colorado without a transporter license issued by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (the “MED”). We have received many calls this past month from couriers, cultivators and dispensaries trying to discern the impact of the new transporter license on their businesses. After reviewing the statutes and rules, and discussing the issue with the MED, we determined that the prior practice of using third-party couriers with vendor registrations is no longer legal after July 1, 2017, even if the courier has an occupational license and vendor registration. The MED confirmed this in a position statement issued on July 26, 2017. However, the City and County of Denver informed McAllister Garfield, P.C. today that it will begin accepting applications for medical and retail transporter licenses on Monday, July 31, 2017.

The Colorado Legislature authorized the MED to begin issuing transporter licenses on July 1, 2017. A transporter license allows a third party to provide logistics and distribution for licensed marijuana businesses, and storage of marijuana and marijuana-infused products for up to 7 days.  Transporters are prohibited from selling any marijuana or marijuana products and may contract with multiple licensed marijuana businesses.

Employees and owners of licensed recreational and medical marijuana businesses may still transport marijuana and marijuana infused products without a separate transporter license. The MED does not permit any other transport without a transporter license.

The industry bulletin provides some information regarding transporter licenses, but interested parties should review the MED rules R 1600 series and M 1600 series, and rules R 801 and M 801, for information about transporter license requirements, including:

  • Mandatory possession of a licensed premises;
  • Surveillance and security requirements;
  • Packaging, container and storage requirements;
  • Ordering procedures;
  • Health and safety regulations;
  • Reporting through METRC, the state inventory tracking system; and
  • Driver licensing and insurance requirements.

City and County of Denver transporter license applications should be available at Denver Excise and Licenses beginning tomorrow, July 28, 2017. The only location requirement for transporters in Denver is that transporters must be located within a zone district with “terminal, freight, air courier services” as a permitted use. There are no location setbacks.

McAllister Garfield, P.C. has advised entities providing marijuana transport services and is monitoring developments with the new transporter license category. If you have questions about transporter licenses or any other issues impacting your business operations, please contact our firm to set up an appointment.