Photo by author: pool view from cannabis friendly suite
Cannabis legalization is showing no signs of slowing down, and as legalization continues to make its way into states across the country, be it medical and/or adult use, businesses are seeking ways to accommodate cannabis consumers. Cannabis has made its way into fashion, food and beverage, construction, and one taking the nation by storm: cannabis tourism and cannabis friendly lodging.
Cannabis travel networks and platforms such as Bud and Breakfast are partnering with bed and breakfast owners and hotels to offer cannabis friendly lodging. Remembering that cannabis is medicine first is important because, a traveler with disabilities that consumes cannabis for medicine first, shouldn’t have to step outside and into a corner to consume their meds. Especially not while the lover of cocktails gets to stay cozy and comfortable indoors- what a slap in the face.
Hotels like the Clarendon Hotel & Spa by Green Tree, in Phoenix, AZ are standing with cannabis consumers. Recently, they launched 8 cannabis friendly hotel rooms that can be booked on Bud and Breakfast, with plans to launch more, and an onsite consumption lounge where visitors can kick back, consume, and even purchase CBD products.
The Need for Patient Consideration in Lodging
Most hotels and bed and breakfasts have strict no smoking policies, even for those that have medical cannabis cards proving that cannabis is their medicine. Hotels go so far as to accommodate alcohol consumers by having bars onsite, yet, someone consuming cannabis as medicine, if smoking, has to step outside to a designated corner. These policies don’t consider medical conditions, accessibility, and weather; for instance, someone with migraines.
For someone with migraines, they shouldn’t be out in the heat or cold when consuming their medicine to treat the episode that’s on the way and actively attacking them. Smoking is the way for many migraine sufferers because immediate relief is needed. The 30 minutes to an hour impact time from tinctures, edibles, beverages, etc., leaves time for the migraine to intensify.
A migraine sufferer may not be in a wheelchair, but they do in fact battle life with a disability; an invisible disability is still a disability.
The Journey to Launch a Cannabis Friendly Hotel
Photo credit: Partin Real Estate
The Clarendon Hotel & Spa says it was important for them to launch cannabis friendly spaces and lodging when adult use legalization came to Arizona:
“As the legality around and perception about cannabis changes, we noticed there were not many spaces that allowed and welcomed its use. As such, we wanted to give guests visiting Phoenix the ability to enjoy cannabis use in a relaxed, supportive environment. Additionally, there are a lot of apartments around us, and many of them continue to have non-smoking clauses, prohibiting cannabis use on their properties. We are hoping our lounge can provide the locals with a safe space as well.”
The Clarendon Hotel & Spa has been a boutique hotel for years. It has the feels of the 70’s, with touches throughout that remind visitors that it is in fact current day. The Clarendon’s setup is unique, offering both motel style rooms and hotel style rooms (indoor/outdoor) which the hotel credits for the “fairly easy” launch of cannabis friendly suites; “The construction of the rooms meant we could easily convert them to cannabis-friendly rooms without the risk of smoke and smells traveling to other spaces.”
Throughout the hotel’s history, they have constantly added, changed, and reimagined what the property should look like. The management team says:
“This has led to the current mashup feeling you described, where we thought it would be fun to take multiple disparate elements and combine them in interesting and quirky ways. Otherwise, the room renovations centered around removal and replacement of surfaces that could become easily dirty, burned, or hold odors. Plus, of course, finding fun art and colors to incorporate into the new rooms.”
Combining Non Smoking and Smoking Spaces in a Hotel
Non smoking and smoking can exist together. It wasn’t that long ago that hotels, restaurants, and office spaces operated with smoking and non smoking sections. The Clarendon Hotel found a middle ground to accommodate cannabis smokers and non smokers: “Not all the guests who stay with us are interested in or want to be around cannabis. Limiting the use of cannabis in public spaces was important to ensure everyone felt comfortable and welcome during their stay with us.”
When asked about any pushback, differences, and difficulties in both spaces existing under one roof, management responded: “There has been surprisingly little difference. We had to do some extra training in relation to cleaning the rooms, but otherwise we have found most people enjoy their stay with us – both those who do and do not use cannabis, without any major pushback from one side or the other or needing any kind of special actions on behalf of the staff.”
Providing a Cannabis Friendly Experience at a Hotel
Photo by author: of Lazy Bee Spa at the Clarendon Hotel
Allowing cannabis consumption is one part of being cannabis friendly. Offering cannabis experiences means really embracing cannabis. For many that travel to legal states, they still face hardship with where to consume after they visit and purchase from a dispensary. The Elevations Lounge at the Clarendon invites guests to consume; but the Clarendon wants to do more. Experiences are popular travel and tourism and the Clarendon wants to offer a total cannabis experience:
“Since we started this journey, we have learned a lot about cannabis and how the space continues to shift and morph with changing laws. As such, our overall vision is still very flexible as we consider new and unique ideas and offerings. In the short term, we are evaluating the possibility of expanding the number of cannabis-friendly rooms we offer, as well as providing a shuttle service for guests to be taken to/from local dispensaries.”
Ending Prohibition is More than Federal Law
Hotels and bed and breakfasts like IHG group, that make statements like: “All IHG-branded hotels across the U.S. prohibit smoking of any kind — including cannabis — in hotel rooms and public spaces, with smoking in designated areas determined at the local level based on local laws.” will see much less bookings from cannabis consumers”, are operating in old law, old logic, and old stigma’s.
Platforms like Bud and Breakfast, and hotels like the Clarendon, are offering traveling cannabis consumers/patients needed cannabis friendly lodging accommodations, making it a no brainer when it’s time to book their lodging. It’s like Bud and Breakfast references on their site: people are starting to understand how the changing attitudes about cannabis are going to impact their business and in order to stay competitive, accommodation owners need to embrace cannabis friendly travel.