“If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” is a 1969 romantic comedy that highlighted the romance of travel in a new city. On a bus, train, or airline flight, it’s the adventures, people and cultures that expand our horizons and give us pleasure. Now with the accessibility of resorts and lodgings that welcome cannabis use with our travel experiences, it’s truly a dream come true.
Now that a number of states in America are legalizing marijuana, opportunities for destination cannabis experiences and travel have been opening their doors to commerce. Imaginative entrepreneurs with a passion for tour guiding and hosting getaways are popping up in California, Colorado and other recreational states. The tours, hotels and glamping of cannabis make for an excellent vacation destination in the Rocky Mountains or near the breathtaking Pacific Ocean.
One of the first hotels that stepped into the world of leafy room reservations is Desert Hot Springs Inn. In speaking with John Thatcher, the Innkeeper of the humble nine-room hotel, he shares the inn’s path to becoming the first 420-friendly hotel. “I’d been in PR/Marketing for years and a cannabis aficionado, I just felt that this could work,” said Thatcher. “I spoke to the owner of the inn and once we cleared things with the city, who were very receptive, Desert Hot Springs Inn became the first hotel in California to be openly cannabis friendly.”
Desert Hot Springs room reservations have doubled since word got out. The inn now hosts many cannabis events because of the safe environment and guest satisfaction. “It was surprising that our average guest is of a higher caliber and baby-boomer age bracket,” Thatcher shared. Most guests request directions to local dispensaries, areas by the pool and patio are designated for smoking and vaping is welcome in the rooms.
Another cannabis vacation option includes the various tours that combine information and education about cannabis production and cultivation in regions known for their cannabis fields. In Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties, collectively known as the Emerald Triangle, is an array of personalized tour programs that range from a single day to custom week-long experiences. In these tours, you may learn about cultivation, terpenes, infused cooking, canna yoga and medicated senior education.
In Colorado, there are a wide array of tour companies that specialize in visits to cultivations, dispensaries, camping, hiking and painting classes. Some tour companies are beginning to provide education to those interested in the business side of cannabis, with excursions that teach participants about starting edible companies, grow facilities and the ins and outs of being a budding entrepreneur in the cannabis industry.
Because each state has different degrees of legal access, some hotels and resorts have yet to come out of the green closet. The locations more inclined to accept cannabis use are the independent hotels and boutique bed and breakfasts. Most of the brand name hotel chains don’t want to alienate other guests or offend parents traveling with children. There are some who feel that there may be a high cost to clean and sanitize the rooms due to the smoke omitted from smoking cannabis in the rooms.
Internationally, the cannabis-friendly vacations are beginning to open up. At the end of August, Cannabliss Retreats is hosting a five-day event in Canada. Also, Jamaica has Coral Cove Cannabis, whose all-inclusive health and wellness resort and spa has cultivation on site. Other cannabis friendly countries include Costa Rica, Spain, Israel and Denmark, though the most accepting cities are Amsterdam, Holland and Montevideo, Uruguay, where dispensaries, coffee shops and ancillary products are available to most residents and travelers.