By Tony C. Dreibus
The recreational marijuana industries in Colorado and Washington State are clicking on all cylinders, and tourists have a lot to do with that success.
But the nation’s first adult-use markets don’t allow consumption in public, and most hotels won’t let guests smoke on their properties – leaving tourists in the lurch.
Enter cannabis-friendly bed and breakfasts.
Several innkeepers in cities where recreational marijuana has been legalized have welcomed cannabis consumers, seeking tourist dollars that otherwise might go to large hotel chains. They represent just a fraction of the many mainstream business owners who are hoping to ride the green wave by catering to the cannabis industry and its customers.
Daryl King, the proprietor of The Bacon Mansion in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, is one of them.
After recreational marijuana legalization took effect in July of 2014, he decided to allow guests at his 11-room bed and breakfast to smoke cannabis on the patio or use vaporizers in their rooms – a decision that’s brought him some additional business.
King spoke with Marijuana Business Daily about his experience owning and operating a cannabis-friendly B&B.
Why did you make the Bacon Mansion a cannabis-friendly inn?
Why wouldn’t I? I allow people to consume alcohol, I have wine glasses and corkscrews in their rooms, and I allow them to smoke cigarettes outside, as long as they’re not within 25 feet of a door. The only additional rule I have is that they don’t do it in front of children.
Have you ever received a complaint about someone smoking marijuana on your patio?
Nobody’s ever given me any grief. I’ve never had a guest say to me, “Hey, there’s somebody smoking pot out there.” People are usually pretty discreet. Tourists can walk down the street on Broadway and downtown and smell it all the time. I even get people asking me where to buy it.
How has being cannabis-friendly helped or hurt your business?
I know people who have stayed here specifically because of it because they’ve asked, so I would say it’s positively impacted my business as far as my bottom line.
I freely let the other B&Bs in our association know that if someone asks (about cannabis use) and they’re not comfortable with it, they can send them my way. I’ve gotten a couple referrals, but most of the people are pretty live and let live.
Do you advertise that you’re cannabis-friendly?
I have not put it on my (business) website yet. Obviously people have strong opinions about marijuana so they may not stay here because of that.
If someone is looking for it they can find me pretty quick on a web search. I am listed on the Kush Tourism website (as being cannabis-friendly). As more and more people decide to do it, I might have to do additional marketing.
Do you see this as an emerging trend for B&B owners in recreational cannabis states?
I would say there’s probably a need, but a lot of people still don’t want to do it. There will always be a few of us that are fine with it.
There are properties that only have weekend business so I wouldn’t doubt it if they (became cannabis-friendly) to attract more business.
What advice would you give to other B&B operators who are considering becoming cannabis-friendly?
If you’re uptight about things, it’s not for you. What people personally do is none of my business as long as it’s legal and they follow some basic and easy rules.
Tony C. Dreibus can be reached at email@example.com