“People think we sell from the bus,” Mitchell said. “I tell them, ‘we don’t sell from bus, but I can take you to where they do, for free.’”
Branded with bold white lettering that reads “Urbn Leaf,” the Cannabus is hard to miss if you’ve spent any time in the beach communities this year. In operation since February, the bus offers free rides to the Urbn Leaf dispensary on Buenos Avenue. Pick-up spots are located in Ocean Beach during the week and Pacific Beach on the weekend, with added pick-ups in Ocean Beach on some weekends.
“Our OB route is the most popular,” Mitchell said.
During the 10 minute drive to the dispensary, riders enjoy cushy bench seats and tables with booths. They can also sync their phones to play their music, enjoy an adult beverage and light up a marijuana joint.
Mitchell said she and the other Cannabus girls check ID’s, to make sure people are 21 (if consuming alcohol). A built-in door separates the cabin and the driver, keeping it smoke free in the front seat.
The busses (there are two but only one operates at a time) are part of the Cali Party Bus fleet, Mitchell said. Urbn Leaf contracts with the Cannabus company to be the dispensary drop-off location and for the bus-branding.
Mitchell said she hasn’t had any issues with riders and so far hasn’t had to call the police. The hardest part, she said, is finding parking and not staying in loading zones too long.
On average, there are 20 people riding the bus each day.
“Most people hear about us through word of mouth,” she said. “Like, people from out of town ask their servers where they can get marijuana, and their servers send them here.”
Mitchell said all types of people hop on the bus, from college students to older people who want to look for balm and oils.
“Tourists, we get a lot of tourists, and people who just hop on when they walk by,” Mitchell said. “I’ve had people from Germany, Austria. A lot more people are from out of state and a lot of people from hostels.”
Once the bus arrives at the dispensary, riders receive a wristband that allows them to skip the line and receive a free lighter. An ID is required to enter the dispensary, where “budtenders” help answer questions about products and fulfill your order.
After the dispensary, riders can choose to get back on the bus for the trip back to the beach or go their own way. People can also hop on the bus from Urbn Leaf. The trip from pick-up to drop-off takes about an hour.
Lynn Walsh is a freelance journalist and an Obecian. She works to promote trust between journalists and the public through the Trusting News project and teaches at Point Loma Nazarene University. Originally from Ohio, Lynn has grown to love living at the beach and posts way too many San Diego sunset photos on Instagram.