CDOT takes heartfelt approach to address cannabis-impaired driving

Partnership with Native Roots Cannabis Co. surprises customers with safety valentines

Statewide — The Colorado Department of Transportation is breaking away from traditional Valentine’s Day chocolates and flowers to send a message that could save lives. On Valentine's Day, CDOT partnered with Native Roots Cannabis Co. to launch a memorable promotion for customers at the Native Roots Speer Boulevard location. Lucky patrons received decorative artificial marijuana plants adorned with Valentine’s-themed safe-driving messages. To further promote safety, Native Roots waved cannabis delivery fees on Valentine’s Day to encourage would-be impaired drivers to stay home instead of getting behind the wheel.

Valentine's Day giveaways at Native Roots, stickers read "love you, bud" and "lovers don't let others drive impaired"

According to CDOT data, traffic fatalities involving drivers above the legal limit for cannabis are increasing. Although alcohol is the most common cause of impairment-related crashes, drivers who tested above the 5 nanogram limit for active Delta-9 THC increased from 50 drivers in 2020 to 79 in 2021.

“Dispensaries and budtenders are among the most trusted influencers when it comes to information about cannabis and driving,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “Our industry partners share CDOT’s goal of keeping people safe on and off the road. This collaboration provides a creative outlet for sharing vital information.”

The eye-catching artificial marijuana plants included a message for consumers to protect their loved ones. Customers were asked to share who they stay safe for to be eligible for a plant. The promotion is intended to help educate consumers about the dangers of cannabis-impaired driving and also includes valentines cards available at statewide Native Roots locations encouraging drivers to make safe choices for themselves and their loved ones.

“Responsible consumption and reducing cannabis-impaired driving is a shared priority for the industry and the communities we are grateful to serve,” said Native Roots Policy & Public Affairs Manager Liz Zukowski. “We’re proud to collaborate with CDOT to help encourage our customers to be safe and make sensible choices that keep loved ones and others out of harm’s way.”

Impaired driving deaths increased to 278 last year, up 6% from 2021. But since 2019, those deaths involving an impaired driver have risen by almost 60%. Combinations of drugs are also a problem — 25% of the impaired drivers in fatal crashes last year had more than one substance in their blood, with alcohol and cannabis the most common co-occurring substances.

"Cannabis delivery is a convenient way to ensure responsible consumption and reduce the risk of impaired driving," said Michael Diaz-Rivera, owner of Better Days Delivery and a social equity licensee and delivery partner with Native Roots. "With a growing demand for delivery services, especially during special events or challenging weather conditions, it makes it easy for our customers to enjoy cannabis without putting themselves or others on the road at risk."

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

About Native Roots Cannabis Co.: Colorado’s Happy Place

Native Roots Cannabis Co. is one of Colorado’s most successful vertically integrated medical and adult-use cannabis operators. Native Roots has 20 dispensary locations across Colorado, serving thousands of adult consumers daily and the state’s largest number of registered patient members. With over a decade of experience providing cannabis to patients and adult consumers, Native Roots has won national recognition for its sustainable business practices, retail design, high-quality products and employment practices. Since 2010, Coloradans have turned to Native Roots as their trusted leader in cannabis for wellness and recreation. Native Roots offers a vast assortment of affordable products and a welcoming environment for cannabis beginners and experts alike. Rooted in the community, we are Colorado’s Happy Place. To learn more about the company, visit Follow Native Roots on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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