New cannabis-themed tours and services are lighting up the travel industry.
As the legalization of recreational marijuana rolls out across North America, travel and hospitality companies are increasingly catering to travelers seeking a new high. Privately held pot tourism companies such as Seattle-based Kush Tourism and Denver-based Colorado Cannabis Tours operate tours of cannabis-related sites and serve as tourist resources for pot-friendly lodgings.
A phenomenon known as “bud and breakfast” is also on the rise, and the budandbreakfast.com website lists more than 400 marijuana-friendly properties. Maine Greenyards in Auburn is one of the first such properties in New England. The “cannabis-themed boutique accommodations” are set amid a garden where various strains of the plant are grown and the owners are on hand to provide cannabis education.
This summer, the James New York-NoMad hotel started offering an in-room cannabidiol (CBD) tasting menu, designed by chef Andrea Drummer—cannabidiol is one of the active, non-psychoactive components of cannabis. In addition to food treats for humans, there are hemp snacks for dogs. The hotel also sells CBD-infused skincare products.
The Standard hotels in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles are collaborating with Lord Jones, a manufacturer and distributor of CBD-infused products. CBD-infused gumdrops and body lotions are currently available in minibars at the California hotel, and there are plans to expand the offerings to Standard hotels in New York City and Miami. Lord Jones is also launching its retail flagship within the Hollywood property later this year, selling cannabis-infused products to guests and the local community.
Supper clubs offering private events are becoming increasingly common. The Cannaisseur Series in San Francisco hosts monthly dinners and brunches, pairing lightly medicated cannabis strains with chef Coreen Carroll’s cuisine. Christopher Sayegh, aka the Herbal Chef, serves up cannabis-infused fine dining dinners that combine pot, art, music and education.
Portland’s Jupiter Hotel is proudly promoting the fact that it is marijuana-friendly. The 81-room hipster hotel offers an Everything but the Weed kit, including coupons for dispensaries and related businesses. According to spokesperson Sarah Schnur, “When marijuana first became legal, the conversation opened up with our team on how we can make it easier for our customers.” The hotel, explains Schnur, wanted to make it clear to guests that accessing legal marijuana is permitted. “We decided we wanted to embrace this and promote conscious consumption. The package has continued to be one of our best-selling since its launch.”
Portland is one of the most progressive cities in the United States when it comes to official acceptance of marijuana tourism. “There’s a lot of hesitancy among destination marketing organizations in terms of recreational cannabis—the prohibition on the national level is a matter of concern, but it’s not something Travel Portland is shying away from,” says Marcus Hibdon, director of communications for Travel Portland. “There’s no moral or ethical dilemma at our end. The voters have spoken.”
Weed may not be the prime reason to travel. But as its usage becomes more integrated into everyday life in various states, the cannabis tourism economy is likely to move forward. After all, tourism destinations frequently claim they want to provide something for everyone, so offering marijuana-related options adds one more ingredient to the pot.