The cases involving two Denver marijuana tour bus operators that were hit with legal citations underscore the regulatory complexities facing such businesses and the fact that local authorities continue to keep a close eye on MJ companies.
Cannabis tour buses in Denver are allowed to operate – and allow marijuana consumption – provided they stay on the right side of a line between private spaces versus those that general members of the public can access.
That’s how a spokesman for Denver’s Excise and Licensing Department described the city’s cannabis tour bus policy, which has been the source of some confusion after undercover police issued citations on Friday to passengers and drivers of two bus companies – Colorado Cannabis Tours and My 420 Tours.
What determines whether a cannabis tour bus is considered a public or private space will be looked at on a case-by-case basis, said Excise and Licensing spokesman Eric Escudero.
For example, a person could rent a tour bus for a birthday party and people attending could legally consume on the bus while it’s in operation.
But a bus that’s simply ferrying random customers from one location to another and allowing them to consume cannabis during the ride violates the city’s ordinance against marijuana consumption in public places, Escudero explained.
The situation reflects how closely regulators are monitoring MJ businesses in Denver and expecting them to meticulously follow the letter of the law.
Another recent example involved a would-be “cannabis spa and lounge,” which city officials rejected because it would have been 19 feet too close to a child-care center.