BOWLING GREEN, Ky., and LOS ANGELES – TheRealCannaBus, Enlighten’s high-tech dispensary on wheels, will make its way across the United States this fall as part of a campaign to demystify and destigmatize legal cannabis.
Built on a Freightliner chassis, the bus’s 42-foot length and width of 8.5 feet to 13 feet (depending on whether its slide-out sides are extended) make it about the size of a big-city fire truck. Luxurious interior features include a snakeskin glitter floor, pickled oak walls, a grass wall, custom leather sofa, and hexagonal wall shelves that hide custom stools. A powerful stereo system, custom digital signage, and LED light walls delight the senses while an awe-inspiring air filtration system completely removes all traces of cannabis smoke. Fully functional, the dispensary incorporates digital menus, point-of-sale system, and a video network powered by Enlighten’s end-to-end omnichannel marketing platform. The only thing missing is products, which can be added by retailers, distributors, and brands that invite TheRealCannaBus to partner with them for special experiential activations.
Enlighten spent about $250,000 and six months planning and building the purple behemoth, which will make its debut September 22 and 23 at Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa, California. While there, it will serve as “The Enlighten Retail Experience,” demonstrating how companies from across the spectrum, not just retailers, can activate the bus. After that, TheRealCannaBus will be available for other special engagements, which might include product education, corporate events, tours, brand showcases, and as an auxiliary trade-show brand platform. The bus is equally suited for activation as a consumption lounge, off-site salesfloor (California only), or pop-up dispensary.
“When strategizing the launch of TheRealCannaBus, we decided to take a cultural approach to destigmatizing everyday cannabis use by providing a welcoming experience that will educate, comfort, and ultimately serve the narrative of normalizing cannabis by amplifying positive brands and quality products,” said Enlighten spokesman Adam Stephens. “Everyone is looking to create a shareable moment—both consumers and businesses alike. That’s what TheRealCannaBus does. It gives you something you’ve never had before; a new flavor of life. This builds relationships between consumers and brands that are never forgotten.”
To maximize and amplify the core message that cannabis consumption can be a normal part of everyday people’s everyday lives, Enlighten partnered with mg Magazine. The mg staff was enchanted by the project from the get-go.
“You have to experience TheRealCannaBus to believe it,” said Erin Zavala, chief operating officer for mg’s parent company, Inc Media. “A tremendous amount of thought and effort went into every aspect of the bus, from physical design to mission. Enlighten’s commitment to eradicating stigma and educating the public is inspiring, and we can’t think of a better way to accomplish that goal than by taking the message on the road in such a creative manner. We’re proud to partner with Enlighten on this important undertaking.”
According to Stephens, Enlighten “partnered with mg Magazine because of the authenticity of the publication and its objective perspective. Culturally, our two companies have synergy that should be used as a force for good.”
TheRealCannaBus also plans to make stops at MJBizCon October 20 through 22 and Hall of Flowers in Palm Springs December 8 and 9.