MANHATTAN – Immediately after Uncle Budd’s weed bus was ticketed and towed from its Upper East Side home in front the Old Navy store on East 86th Street last Tuesday, it appeared the truck— which offered up marijuana and cannabis products after guests made a ‘donation’— would be back to business as usual in no time. Turns out it is, just not in the same place.
“We heard your complaints loud & clear,” the 19th Precinct tweeted last Tuesday afternoon, “illegal vending on East 86th Street ended today for this truck.”
“Left unoccupied on the street it was ticketed & towed,” the NYPD added.
Just hours after the NYPD’s announcement last Tuesday, Upper East Site spotted a bus with a slightly different paint job that had already been stationed in the same location at the corner of Lexington Avenue.
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Though, it’s not clear whether Uncle Budd’s ever reopened on East 86th Street. The unmissable bright green Ford bus with LED billboards on all sides was missing from the busy corridor Friday afternoon.
Twenty-four hours later, Upper East Site received a tip that Uncle Budd’s was back in action on the Upper East Side.
Stationed this time near the busy East 96th Street-Lexington Avenue subway station— Uncle Budd’s shelves are lined with the same inventory of weed, pre-rolled joints, cannabis edibles and vape cartridges as when the truck was parked ten blocks south.
The Green Truck is now located across from Starbucks on Lexington Avenue just north of 96th Street, in what appears to be an intentional move to keep weed bus from drawing the ire of officers from the NYPD’s 19th Precinct, who patrol the Upper East Side.
Since the UES and the 19th Precinct end at East 96th Street, Uncle Budd’s weed bus has technically set up shop in East Harlem this time around— putting any decisions on enforcement action in the purview of the NYPD’s 23rd Precinct.
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Recreational use of weed has been legalized in New York State, however, the licensing process to sell marijuana hasn’t been finalized.
Uncle Budd’s attempts to use a loophole in the law where the workers accept ‘donations’ from guests and then provide a marijuana ‘gift’ for their generosity— though the New York State Office of Cannabis Management says no such loophole exists.
Last week, officials announced that cease-and-desist letters had been sent to more than two dozen businesses “suspected of illegally selling cannabis, including the practice of ‘gifting.’”
It is not known whether Uncle Budd’s is one of the businesses that received the order— requests for comment by Upper East Site have gone unanswered.
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