One of the hardest things about taking a trip when you’re a stoner is that there’s almost no place where you can lay your head and also enjoy a fat boy.
Most hotels, motels, lodges, and campsites want nothing to do with potheads, at least not on their property. But that may be changing, if only one business at a time.
Richmond Meyer, a partner in Colorado-based Keef Cola, has decided to open a new property in downtown Denver, the Nativ Hotel. Not only will stoners be welcome, but half of the 16 rooms have balconies set aside for toking.
The Nativ isn’t the first cannabis-friendly accommodation in Colorado – or, for that matter, in other states where weed is legal. But so far the pickings have been very limited, with just a handful of B&Bs and inns playing along, together with some homeowners with rooms to rent.
Colorado’s first cannabis-themed hotel
The Nativ will be the first overtly cannabis-themed hotel in Denver, and possibly elsewhere. Unlike most other places where weed is welcome, guests will be allowed to smoke the drug, not just vape it. In Colorado, even most rooms for rent are only vape-friendly.
Meyer’s company, Keef Cola, produces a marijuana-infused soda sold in dispensaries throughout Colorado. Meyer is also a partner and investor in other local cannabis business. He said his insider perspective should make the hotel especially appealing to stoners.
“The charm of Nativ Hotel is that the owners are in the business,” Meyer said. “We embrace the culture, we embrace the industry, we embrace the plant and everything that’s coming with it.”
The Nativ property was previously occupied by another hotel, the Jet, in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood.
Lucrative marijuana tourism market
The marijuana travel market is a potential cash cow in Colorado, at least until more states legalize and pot tourists have more options. The window for success may not be open long, so entrepreneurs such as Meyer stand to make a lot of money by acting now.
Marijuana tourism is an established business in Colorado, as pot smokers from other parts of the country travel there to sample the legal weed. Unfortunately, the industry still lacks some of the touches that could really sell the area to tourists.
There are already public cannabis clubs in Denver, for example, but they’re still mostly unregulated and subject to police crackdown. Few other establishments cater to stoners, aside from pot shops. But as ancillary cannabis businesses start providing more of these services, the potential for revenue is huge.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2012, the same year Washington State legalized. Two other states, Oregon and Alaska, legalized weed last year, as did Washington, D.C.
The industries in these states are still very young, so it’s too early to say exactly where the best business opportunities are. But Meyer’s new hotel and other growing ancillary businesses suggest entrepreneurs are busy figuring that out.