Legalization has made cannabis more widely accepted. Entrepreneurs have joined the industry presenting creative money-making ideas. The latest is the Canna Cannabus.
The Canna Cannabus is similar to a food truck, but instead of food, it serves up cannabis. It is available for weddings, concerts, sports attractions, and other events. It has recently made its debut in Denver.
About the Canna Cannabus
The Canna Cannabus received a permit to operate in the city of Denver on July 20. It follows in the footsteps of two other mobile marijuana hospitality services that have been permitted in the state. Customers can rent it for any event, but its main market is matrimony.
The bus is the brainchild of owner Alisha Gallegos. It is a side hustle that she hopes will bring in additional income. It will increase the number of licensed venues where people can go to consume pot.
How Canna Cannabus Works
Gallegos will park her Cannabus outside of event venues. Guests who wish to consume will show their IDs and enter the bus to smoke out in a private and comfortable environment.
The bus must move every half hour. Gallegos will need to apply to the city a week ahead of time before she is approved to work a location. But it isn’t difficult to get approval if the bus is operating within city limits.
Gallegos does not sell her weed products. People must bring their weed on the bus to consume. The bus has a vending machine that sells non-infused munchies and drinks.
It also offers blacked-out windows and a carbon filtration system. A medical grade-air purifier and double barrier sit by the driver’s seat to ensure the driver maintains sobriety along their travels.
The owner admitted that her business is tricky to market. She cannot have a logo outside the bus or use billboard advertisements. “What we’re trying to do is partner with different dispensaries and local businesses and get the word out that way,” Gallegos said.
Gallegos is a former public educator who joined the cannabis industry after noting a lack of licensed public places for pot consumption. She is also motivated by a wish to increase minority representation in the cannabis market.
She wanted to open a marijuana-friendly venue but chose a mobile lounge because it offered fewer barriers to launching a business.
She also felt cannabis was more lucrative than teaching.
“I loved to teach, but they just aren’t paid very much. As a Hispanic female, it’s important to create equity in the business,” she noted.
She also spoke about her business model. “I’ll be doing public and private events- public meaning I’ll be around all of the major venues. I’ll also do birthdays and corporate events, but my focus is definitely weddings,” she explained.
Colorado and the Cannabis Industry
Colorado lawmakers passed a law to allow hospitality licenses in 2019. But local governments must opt in before these businesses are permitted in a municipality.
Denver governments opted in in 2021. But many cannabis businesses in the city have had a hard time launching. The city has had only one establishment open, a pot lounge called Coffee Joint which permits electronic vaping and edible consumption only.
The city has given tentative approval to other cannabis establishments such as the Capitol Hill hotel and lounges in RiNo and on East Colfax. But these businesses have stalled due to local ventilation laws and business plan obstacles.
Mobile lounges have met with fewer obstacles. Others that have launched in the city offer cannabis-friendly trips to the airport, local attractions, taco joints, and customized routes. Canna Cannabus will be the first of its kind to cater to weddings and other public events.
The Canna Cannabus Makes Its Debut
The Canna Cannabus is fully operational and ready to be rented. It made its debut over the weekend on August 4 at a community art walk. Visitors paid $10 to enter the event to check out the Cannabus and other local vendors.
The Cannabis Experience
The Canna Cannabus follows in the footsteps of the Cannabis Experience, a Denver, CO-based mobile cannabis business that became the nation’s first marijuana-licensed consumption bus in the nation earlier this year.
The company offers safe, legal cannabis tours, airport transportation, and party services. Customers can drive to the Denver International Airport in style or rent it out to enjoy food and art themes like “Toking and Tacos” and “RiNo Mural Tours”. The bus offers other tours of the city as well.
Like Gallegos, Cannabis Experience owner Sarah Woodson is a supporter of social equity in the cannabis business. “The cannabis industry is extremely regulated and not diverse. We are social equity and African American,” Woodson said.
She also explained the company’s business model. “It took us almost a year to become operational, so we are excited to be the country’s first safe, legal, licensed mobile hospitality business. We will have amazing tours and grow our fleet over the next 24 months and work on expanding into other local cities such as Aurora. We are helping move the needle forward in the legalization fight. We are proud to be in the cannabis industry,” she said.
Social Equity in the Cannabis Industry
Social equity is a critical factor in every industry. But it is a focus of the cannabis industry.
The prohibition of cannabis has had a disproportionately negative impact on people of color. Many states and cities are countering the impact with social equity programs that ensure people of color and those that have been unfairly charged with marijuana-related offenses, are provided an opportunity to become a part of the industry.
Governments assist in the form of staff training, waiving fees for minority owners, providing technical support for navigating the licensing process, and advocating for the descheduling of marijuana.
Canna Cannabus and Cannabis Experience are examples of minority entrepreneurs that have benefited from social equity programs. We wish them luck in achieving their business goals.