Cannabis drink company to pay $45,000 fine after breaking rules at Denver’s Mile High 420 festival

A cannabis beverage company will be fined $45,000 after breaking rules at Denver’s Mile High 420 festival held in April.

Violations resulted in a $15,000 fine. An additional $30,000 will be suspended for one year, in the event of future violations.

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

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

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

Event organizer Adam Schmidt told Bearman that “he had communicated with the sponsors that they were not allowed to have any merchandise on site,” 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 should not be suspended or revoked.

“Denver Packaging Co. is proud that in nearly all of its eight years of operation in Colorado, it has never encountered any regulatory issues or complaints. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding on April 20 occurred between third-party brand promoters, city investigators, and our staff, resulting in a documented violation by local regulators. The allegations (by the city) were very serious and we accept full responsibility for our actions,” Veron wrote in an email.

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

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 drinks, sparkling water, mocktails and more.

He has built an Instagram following of over 28,000.

The Mile High 420 Festival, held in Civic Center Park, is billed as the largest 420 festival in the world. It has already hit a snag this year after some Coloradans protested the festival’s policy that allows attendees of all ages, citing concerns about young people’s exposure to weed.

There are plans to limit the age of festival-goers to 21 and over next year.