Cannabis tourism is a thing now. Cannabis holidays and vacations, too. While most inns and hotels still shy away from letting guests spark up in their rooms, or elsewhere on the premises, some ganjapreneurs are catering to cannatourists eager to enjoy a nice cannagetaway.
Marijuana tourism is huge in Colorado, with 420-friendly hotels in Denver being particularly popular, says ColoradoPotGuide.com. A page on their website entitled “420-Friendly Hotels In Colorado” reads, “While many Denver Colorado hotels accommodate the cannabis tourism market, it's early enough that many commercial 420-friendly hotels are still defining their policies or are hesitant to market themselves as 420-friendly publicly. Because of this, many people are choosing to rent their private bud and breakfast accommodations to marijuana-friendly guests.”
According to Colorado law, smoking is only allowed outdoors at hotels, but private rental properties, on the other hand, can make the call as to whether or not to allow guests to partake indoors.
“Most hotels and resorts ban it outright and are smoke-free, which applies to any type of smoking, not just tobacco,” the page continues. “Other hotels in Colorado are smoker friendly by less conspicuously accommodating vaping in-room or in an outside area, such as a patio or balcony. If you want to smoke weed at your cannabis-friendly hotel, the options will usually include booking smoking rooms with a balcony or finding a location that offers a designated outside smoking area.”
The Guide’s 420-friendly lodging directory lists commercial hotels and private residences in Colorado that welcome on-site marijuana consumption.
The site also advises travelers on enjoying a hassle-free stay. Recommendations include buying a vaporizer pen, as they give off no smoke and very little odor. “Plus they're available at most recreational stores you'll visit.”
The Rise of The “Bud ‘n’ Breakfast”
As we pointed out, private rental properties in Colorado and other states with legal marijuana can decide whether or not cannabis use is allowed by their guests. Some just quietly tolerate cannabis use, but there are some private bed and breakfast owners who are going all out and converting their operation to a “bud ‘n’ breakfast” where marijuana is not only tolerated but featured.
Because they are not allowed to sell marijuana, these lodges must have a BYOC policy - bring your own cannabis.
Not surprisingly, bud and breakfast inns are a huge hit with vacationers, and many 420-friendly innkeepers are raking it in with revenue in the seven figures.
CNBC recently ran a story about a Colorado man who quit his 30-year career as a lawyer on Wall Street to open a 420-friendly inn located in Denver called, appropriately, Bud+Breakfast.
According to the CNBC report, “occupancy rates are high — most weekends are sold out. Guests are booking reservations for April 20 (4/20) a year in advance, and in 2016, Schneider estimated the company took in $1.2 million.”
Repeat business makes up a significant chunk of revenue. "They go home, and they tell their friends, 'You can't believe what I did for the last three days,'" Joel Schneider, owner of Bud+Breakfast told CNBC.
Partaking In Luxury
Suites at a bud and breakfast average $300 to $400 a night. They often have well-appointed rooms and fully stocked bars and offer gourmet meals.
Joel Schneider’s inn is located in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood. It’s within walking distance of several marijuana dispensaries. A drug paraphernalia bar features an array of vaporizers and scores of expensive glass pipes and bongs.
Another luxury B&B in Maine called Maine Greenyards is located in a 1950s mansion on 16 acres in Auburn, with an indoor pool and hot tub.
A Variety of 420-Friendly Accommodations
In addition to bud and breakfasts, other businesses such as pot-themed spas and campgrounds are starting to pop up at an increasing rate.
Another 420-friendly resort, Aspen Canyon Ranch, is located near Parshall in Grand County, about an hour-and-a-half drive from Denver. Guests at the ranch enjoy such activities as yoga, hiking, fishing, and swimming.
The cabins, a quick walk from the main lodge where meals are served, feature porches with views of the mountains and the Williams Fork River.
Guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary "Wake and Bake" each morning along with breakfast and a happy hour each afternoon at 4:20, after which dinner is served.
In Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a group called Regulate Cape Cod, plotting to cash in on cannabis tourism, has planned a trip to Colorado to see how towns such as Vail and Aspen handle marijuana tourism.
“We’ll go to Colorado and see what they’re doing,” said Spencer Knowles of Regulate Cape Cod. “We want to take some best practices, and we want to educate the towns on the Cape because this is going to have to be sold at the local level.”
The group has had some pushback from other groups on the Cape that want to ban cannabis altogether. “Once we’re able to put a dollar amount on the potential for cannatourism,” a Regulate Cape Cod spokesperson, told the Boston Globe, “they can look at the economics of it. Cannatourism is all extra and residual.”
How To Start Your Own Bud and Breakfast
Starting your own bud and breakfast is not difficult. First, of course, your property needs to be in a state that allows the use of recreational cannabis.
Next, you need to check local laws on private rentals and room tax requirements. And, of course, you should check with an expert on local cannabis laws to make sure you’re following state and local regulations.
Then it’s as simple as getting onto a site such as airbnb.com, vrbo.com, or any of the cannatourism specialty sites such as coloradopotguide.com or budandbfast.com, for a couple of examples, and letting the world know your establishment is 420-friendly.
Don’t forget to send me an invite!