- As legalization of recreational marijuana spreads to more states, there are more places to rent vacation homes that allow cannabis use.
- Niche sites like BudandBreakfast.com offer list databases for cannabis-addicted travelers.
- Minority entrepreneurs are among those hoping to capitalize on this business.
At B&B Nicole Butler, cannabis is found in the candy she greets guests at check-in, in the homemade shrimp, cereals and other meals she serves, and in the snacks she prepares for anyone who nibbles.
“I was just trying to give people what they’re used to with just the addition of cannabis,” Butler said.
With permission from her landlord, Butler began listing her 3-bedroom, 3-bath townhouse in Washington DC in 2018. BudandBreakfast.comwhich connects guests with hosts who allow the use of marijuana in their facilities.
The site is still tiny, with only 2,000 active listings compared to Airbnb’s 6 million. But interest in the niche market for cannabis-friendly housing is growing: Recreational marijuana use is now legal in 19 states and Washington. Tourism for cannabis in a broader sense is now also a $17 billion industry. according to the latest Forbes.
Some cannabis-friendly rentals go beyond simply allowing people to smoke or consume weed on the spot. For example, with rooms starting at $420 a night, Butler offers a fully stocked cannabis bar with a variety of varieties to choose from, as well as yoga, CBD. massages and cannabis training.
Having worked as a hairdresser before the pandemic, Butler began working full-time at the bed and breakfast when the salon she worked at closed during the pandemic. She said business Started supporting myself after about a year.
“I think the pandemic has made people really appreciate the experience, taking care of themselves and just doing what makes them happy,” Butler said.
U.S. cannabis sales will rise from $25 billion in 2021 to $42 billion in 2026, according to research firm BDSA.
Among those looking to capitalize on the growing industry is Sean Roby, who launched BudandBreakfast.com in 2015. Homeowners can list their properties for short-term reservations in states where recreational or medical use of cannabis is legal. When he first launched the site, Roby said his business partners were hesitant about whether people would buy into the idea of allowing guests to smoke cannabis on their property.
“Now we get dozens of orders a day,” he said.
The website lists where smoking is allowed in the house, whether cannabis will be provided, or if it’s BYOB – bring your own. They also include information about local dispensaries and cannabis-related events taking place in the area.
“We have seats that are booked six months in advance,” Roby said.
Deonta Mak is also wooing guests with his online startup. vibesbnb.comwhere he lists rental options suitable for cannabis. The site has more than 150 listings, mostly in Florida, and Mack says about 2,000 users signed up for the site in its first year.
Florida, one of the top vacation destinations in the US, still doesn’t allow recreational use of cannabis. But after voters approved a bill in 2016 to allow medical use on private property, Mack, at the time an Uber and Lyft driver, saw an opportunity to cash in.
“People don’t want to be inconvenienced when they smoke, and some do need medical attention,” Mack said. “But when people go to Florida, if they smoke for some reason, the only place they can do it is in a private home.”
Mac cross-lists on Vibesbnb and Airbnb. He said people can either book one of his Airbnb listings or go directly to his website for cheaper bookings.
According to Airbnb community policy, the possession and use of cannabis is permitted “in places where it is legal and does not violate any internal regulations.” However, the company does not allow users to directly search for rentals suitable for cannabis, or allow their hosts to list their rentals as such.
“If a guest is interested in a host’s cannabis policy in their listing, we encourage guests to contact the host prior to booking to ask for more information,” Airbnb said in a statement.
Mak shared his plans for Vibesbnb with investors in 2019 after he had success listing his own and later other apartments he rented as cannabis-friendly apartments on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. He circumvented the site’s rules by adding “420 friendly” to the description, allowing people to find him through a Google search.
“I’m trying to be like Airbnb selling cannabis in Florida,” Mack said.
The transition of the cannabis industry to the mainstream caught the attention of Jeremiah Swain when he was a student at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
“There are so many opportunities that the black community is missing out on because of their traumatic response to marijuana, because of this traumatic story with the plant,” Swain said.
Swain and his classmate Cameron Wesley Scott founded a cannabis research company in Ithaca, New York. Swain said he hopes it will grow into one of the first boutique cannabis hotels in upstate New York, with about 65 rooms.
“We are looking at mid to late 2025, depending on how quickly we close the fundraiser,” he said.
Construction hasn’t started yet, but he said he envisions an atrium-style area with live plants, a spa, and art and yoga studios.
The couple currently grow cannabis for the adult recreational market in New York State through his 8th Wonder Cannabis Company. They received $300,000 in angel investment but are still raising money to build a hotel.
Swain said the hotel, which he called “the link between cannabis and hospitality,” would give minority entrepreneurs like him a chance to break into the industry.
Credit: www.cnbc.com /