Denver plainclothes officers raided private cannabis tours operated by My 420 Tours and Colorado Cannabis Tours on Friday afternoon. Thirty-one citations were issued to employees of both companies and passengers during the raid. The tickets were the first to be issued against the companies and the citations are open to interpretation.
Denver Cannabis Tourism Comes to a Surprising Halt on Friday After Officers Raid Two bus tours
The tickets issued by Denver police were mostly for public consumption, however, officers also cited both companies for violating the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.
The act, passed in 2016, explicitly states which locations prohibit smoking of tobacco as well as the exemptions to the rule; private homes and cigar bars being notable examples.
Where it gets confusing is that “private limousines under hire,” like the buses owned and posted by My 420 Tours and Colorado Cannabis Tours, are exempted from the CIAA.
Because the tours conducted by My420 Tours, Colorado Cannabis Tours and Loopr are buses that host private events only, smoking cannabis is by definition allowed on these buses. Further, there is no current mandate in Colorado prohibiting the consuming cannabis on a private limo or party bus.
My 420 Tours CEO speaks about the citations
According to My 420 Tours CEO Danny Schaefer, the citations handed out may be an issue related to Colorado Initiated Ordinance 300. Passed in November of 2016, Initiative 300 allows for specifically “designated consumption areas”, or DCA’s, in Denver.
Since the passing of the initiative, only one license has been issued in Denver. The Coffee Joint, the country’s first legal recreational cannabis lounge, was approved by the city on February 26, 2018. Partially due to the restrictive nature of the bill such as the prohibition of selling alcohol on location, The Coffee Joint is currently the only “social cannabis club” in America. Another prime example of the ordinance’s restrictive nature is that, despite the fact more than half of cannabis consumers enjoy smoking the plant, only vaporizing and consuming edibles are permitted.
Schaefer said that it’s likely the citations were issued because the buses aren’t yet considered “designated consumption areas” according to CO’s Initiated Ordinance 300. Despite the citations issued to his company, Schaefer and My 420 Tours have previously offered their assistance to the city’s Department of Excise and Licensing to help in “creating a realistic DCA program based on the needs of the customers.”
Not only did My 420 Tours receive no request for assistance from the Department, Schaefer said he was personally denied admittance to their DCA task force without specification. As for the raids themselves, no prior warning was given by law enforcement that these would be conducted. In the 5 years that My 420 Tours has been operating, this is the first police raid that has occurred.
It appears only certain companies were targeted for the sting
Loopr, another company offering private bus experiences for cannabis consumers, didn’t experience police presence on Friday but canceled their events for Friday evening after news of the raids broke. Although somewhat concerned about police intervention, Loopr plans to continue business as usual on Saturday.
At least for right now, these raids seem to be exclusively a Denver-isolated event. No reports of these events happening in Las Vegas, Los Angeles or other major cities with recreational cannabis have been reported thus far.
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