Steamboat could be getting a marijuana delivery service
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Denver man has applied to open a branch of his Denver-based marijuana delivery business in Steamboat Springs.
If Steamboat Springs City Council chooses to move forward, Dimebags Delivery would operate similarly to an alcohol delivery service. Customers order products online and send in a photo of their ID. Marijuana would only be delivered to official residences, not offices or other businesses.
Once the driver arrives at the residence, he or she scans the customer’s ID, and the customer signs a paper taking ownership of the product and promising not to share it with anyone younger than 21.
Nick Medlock, founder and CEO of Dimebags Delivery, reached out to City Manager Gary Suiter earlier this month with the idea. Suiter brought the idea to council at its April 13 meeting, and council members said they wanted to discuss the idea but tabled it for the summer.
The Colorado Legislature approved marijuana delivery services in the state in 2020, but municipalities have to give the final approval on whether or not such businesses can operate in town.
Most cannabis delivery businesses are on the Front Range, but Medlock said he would like to operate his business in Steamboat because he grew up visiting with his parents and believed the service would do well among tourists and in a rural county.
“The small-town atmosphere, beautiful scenery and culture of the town have always appealed to me,” Medlock said Thursday. “Not everyone in Routt County has access to transportation, which is only escalated around peak tourism seasons, so I want to bring delivery services to people who may not be able to easily walk into a dispensary.”
If council chooses to move forward, the service would only be able operate in Steamboat. Other Routt County towns would have to vote to allow marijuana delivery in their towns.
As for whether or not Steamboat’s visitors will be attracted to a marijuana delivery service, industry experts said many tourists want the experience of walking into a brick and mortar marijuana dispensary.
“Tourists want the full experience. They want to go into a dispensary and talk to a budtender and look at all the different products,” said Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a marijuana lobbying group based in Denver. “I don’t see delivery undercutting the brick and mortars. I actually see it going the other way.”
Steamboat also has an ordinance requiring at least 50% of marijuana sold locally be grown in town, and local marijuana experts said this could make it difficult for a delivery shop to grow and sell their own product.
“Steamboat is a small town; delivery is not going to make things that much more convenient,” said Charlie Peddie, Billo COO. “To me, it just doesn’t make sense in our community.”
Others think locals, particularly those who frequently purchase marijuana, may take advantage of such an operation, particularly after customers got used to shopping online due to COVID-19.
“When you think about it, there are so many people that don’t want to be seen in a dispensary because of the stigma or they don’t want to travel to one,” said Cliff Stokes, owner of High Demand Delivery in Aurora. “I think this could open up a whole new market, especially in the winter where people are nervous to be driving.”
Tim Cullen, founder and CEO of Colorado Harvest Co. in Denver, agreed that COVID-19 ushered in a market for marijuana delivery that may not have existed before.
“COVID has really changed what our stores look like,” Cullen said. “It’s really just a sign to me of the industry sort of maturing.”
Steamboat does not currently have a specific city tax on marijuana, though council has discussed implementing one. If council members choose to approve a marijuana delivery service, they could also decide to levy a tax specifically on delivered products, which Bradley said can make it difficult for new delivery services to operate.
“If it become too expensive, people aren’t going to buy it,” Bradley said.
The issue has not yet been placed on council’s agenda.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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