A cannabis beverage business will pay $45,000 in fines after breaking rules at Denvers Mile High 420 Festival

A cannabis beverage business will pay $45,000 in fines after breaking rules at Denver’s Mile High 420 Festival held in April.

The violations resulted in a $15,000 fine. An additional $30,000 will be held in suspension for a year, in case of future violations.

Denver Packaging Co., which also operates as Keef Brands, admitted to seven violations on April 20, including unlawful acts, packaging and labeling, according to city documents issued Thursday. The business will have to pay the fines within 90 days.

Owner Andrew Veron signed the settlement agreement on Aug. 24. The order includes stipulations for the company to continue to be licensed in Denver as a marijuana retail manufacturing MIP company.

Denver Department of Excise and License Inspector Brooke Bearman reported that she stopped by the Denver Packaging Co. booth at the festival, where the business had Keef Brands products on display, a large
advertising sign and two full coolers of the products.

Event organizer Adam Schmidt told Bearman that “he had communicated with sponsors that they were not allowed to have any product onsite,” according to city documents.

After Veron arrived, he said the products came from Platte Valley Dispensary in Denver. He agreed to remove the products from the event.

The department ordered the company to appear on July 21 to show why its retail and medical MIP manufacturer licenses shouldn’t be suspended or revoked.

“Denver Packaging Co. takes pride that for nearly the entirety of its eight years operating in Colorado, it never ran into any regulatory issues or complaints. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding on April 20th occurred between third-brand promoters, city investigators, and our staff, culminating in a documented violation by local regulators. (The city’s) allegations were very serious, and we accept full responsibility for our actions,” Veron wrote in an email.

“We are committed to lawful operations and continue to enjoy bringing our unique product to our enthusiastic Colorado customers,” Vernon added.

Keef Brands was established in Boulder in 2010. Its product selection includes sodas “with a burst of THC,” like Bubba Kush Root Beer, Orange Kush and Mr. Puffer. The company also offers cannabis-infused energy beverages, sparkling water, mocktails and more.

It’s built an Instagram following of more than 28,000.

The Mile High 420 Festival, which took place in Civic Center park, is billed as the largest 420 festival in the world. It already ran into a hurdle this year after some Coloradans protested the festival’s policy that permits attendees of all ages, citing concerns about youth exposure to weed.

It’s set to limit the age of festival-goers to 21 and older next year.

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