SEEING GREEN: Weed Bus Sets Up Shop on East 86th Street

Uncle Budd's weed bus on East 86th Street/Upper East Site
Uncle Budd's weed bus on East 86th Street/Upper East Site

MANHATTAN – A new business has moved into the busy East 86th Street corridor on the Upper East Side— but you won’t find it moving into one of the vacant storefront or setting up tables with the vendors lining the sidewalk. Unmissable in bright green with large LED signs reading ‘Uncle Budd’s,’ the highly conspicuous Ford E-450 van bus is offering up exactly what you might think— bags of weed, pre-rolled joints, cannabis edibles and disposable marijuana vape pens.

When Upper East Site stopped by Uncle Budd’s, which has set up shop in front of the Old Navy store on East 86th Street near Lexington Avenue, the weed bus was parked almost directly across the street from an NYPD cruiser with its lights on— though the big green bus was partially obscured by a double parked FedEx truck.

Uncle Budd's weed bus parked across the street from NYPD cruiser/Upper East Site
Uncle Budd’s weed bus parked across the street from NYPD cruiser/Upper East Site

While recreational use of marijuana has be legalized in New York State, the licensing process to sell weed hasn’t been finalized— leading the proprietor of Uncle Budd’s weed trucks, which now service five locations in Manhattan including the Upper East Side, to seemingly exploit a loophole in the law. 

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The Green Truck, as the business is known on their website, doesn’t sell marijuana or marijuana products to anyone— instead it seeks out ‘donations,’ and depending on the size of the donation, you can receive different gifts of reefer or pot products. 

Uncle Budd's weed bus on East 86th Street is open 11:00 am to 11:00 pm/Upper East Site
Uncle Budd’s weed bus on East 86th Street is open 11:00 am to 11:00 pm/Upper East Site

“There is no ‘grey area’ in the law on this issue,” a spokesperson for the New York State Office of Cannabis Management told Rolling Stone magazine last November.

“Illegal cannabis sales include the concept of ‘gifting,’ where consumers are purportedly buying a tangential service or commodity and getting their cannabis as a gift,” the spokesperson added.

Uncle Budd's weed bus on East 86th Street/Upper East Site
Uncle Budd’s weed bus on East 86th Street/Upper East Site

Operating in plain sight, Uncle Budd’s employees and operation are quite professional and transact like any other legally operating business would, being helpful and pleasant in their interactions with so-called donors and passers-by.  

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Uncle Budd’s weed bus on the Upper East Side is open from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm every day.

You can also find their trucks, buses or trailers in Harlem at West 116th Street and Frederick Douglas Boulevard, on the Upper West Side at West 96th and Broadway, Bleecker and Lafayette Streets in NoHo and next to Katz Deli at Houston and Ludlow Streets.

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