Illuminated neon drive thru sign.
Copyright: 72soul / 123RF Stock Photo

The first known legal drive-thru marijuana retail store in Colorado chose the date of 4/20 to open in Parachute, a town of approximately 1,100 located 40 miles west of Glenwood Springs along Interstate 70.

While customers will enjoy the novelty and simplicity of buying marijuana without exiting their vehicle, the Colorado Department of Marijuana Enforcement regulations impose a logistical challenge on this business model. The regulations require that all points of ingress and egress for a store be secured by commercial grade locks, and that video surveillance systems record all transactions with sufficient detail to identify all customers and employees participating in such transactions. Regulations further provide that all marijuana products cannot be visible from outside the premises.

To comply with these regulatory obstacles, the owner of the drive-thru store has converted a prior car wash facility so that the drive-thru window is within the car wash structure and not visible or directly accessible from the outside.

As regulations also prohibit the sale of any (non-infused) food or beverages at any marijuana store, as tempting as it may be, it will be pointless for any drive-thru customer to ask, “can I get fries with that?”