A Second Look at the Magic ‘CannaBus’ Ride from Ocean Beach to the Dispensary

by on June 13, 2019 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

By Joaquin Antique

It’s now June of 2019, more than a year since my article about the CannaBus appeared in the OB Rag.

Much remains the same. The bus continues to pick up passengers by the Ocean Beach Pier parking lot and takes them to the URBN Leaf dispensary on Buenos Avenue near Morena.

It still runs approximately hourly between noon and 8 PM with the last pickup at about 7 PM. If you get to the foot of Newport and there’s no bus, hang out for awhile and watch the floor show that is the pier parking lot and within an hour the bus should arrive.

There’s no service on Mondays. The bus remains free and you’re allowed to smoke weed on board. Once at the dispensary you are bumped to the head of the line and your entire journey should be over with you back in OB in 60 to 75 minutes. According to the “flight attendant” I spoke with, the passengers are still a mix of OBceans, non-local San Diegans, and out-of-towners.

Re-reading my post from 2018, I see that in my giddy excitement over the Cannabus’s novelty, I got a few things wrong.

Interior of Cannabus. All photos by Joaquin

At that time I was quite impressed by the large size and glitzy and un-funky décor of the dispensary. Now having experienced other upscale dispensaries throughout the state, I’m no longer so impressed. URBN Leaf is still a nice place with friendly budtenders and a huge selection, but it does not seem so luxurious or modern compared to some of the other dispensaries I’ve visited in LA and the Bay Area.

More significantly, after a recent visit to Eugene, Oregon, I’m scandalized at the prices charged in San Diego for weed.

One eight of an ounce typically costs $25 to $65 (15% excise tax included) at licensed dispensaries in San Diego. Then the state and city add another 12.5% in sales taxes bringing the price range up to $28 to $73 for one eighth of an ounce.

In Eugene, typical prices were $15 to $35 an eighth and those prices included all taxes. Lower prices were evident for all products including edibles and concentrates. Oregon ganja ends up being 30 to 50% cheaper than here in California. And Oregon has similar tracking and testing requirements as California so that’s no excuse for the exorbitant prices here.

That’s what you get when a local jurisdiction like San Diego limits the amount of allowed dispensaries. That artificially creates monopolies (oligopolies, actually) that are able to engage in what some might consider price-fixing. In Oregon there are a ton more dispensaries and they have to lower prices to compete with the other dispensaries. Here they all seem to charge the same prices.

Conspiracy or coincidence? You be the judge. Oh for the real competition of a free market ganja economy here in San Diego!

Still, if you’re a tourist fresh off the boat (or plane) or a local who doesn’t have another source, the CannaBus will take you on a uniquely fun trip to score some herb.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ZZ June 13, 2019 at 11:48 am

I had a house guest last year who wanted to take the bus. He called Urbn to double check the schedule, nobody knew it, but they gave him the number of the company running the bus. He called them, no answer. He then waited for 90 minutes at the pier lot and it never showed up.


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