While some California hotels aren't entirely sold on the idea of letting guests smoke cannabis during their stay, others are cashing in on legalization by creating smoking spaces for visitors. And one of the state's most hospitable motels for cannabis consumers is even putting joints on the guests' pillows.
Morgan Night of the Idyllwild-based Hicksville Pines Bud & Breakfast says business is up about 30 percent since he began making the 10-room lodge more friendly for cannabis consumers. On top of allowing on-site consumption, Night also keeps the venue well-stocked with cures for the munchies.
“The vending machine loves it because it gets raided frequently,” Night told the LA Times. “Overall it’s been great.”
So much so that he's also started leaving joints instead of the customary mint on the pillows of motel rooms at his other venue - the Hicksville Trailer Palace & Artist Retreat in Joshua Tree.
Other independent hotel owners are seeing similar results. John Thatcher made his Desert Hot Springs Inn cannabis-friendly after recreational cannabis was legalized in California last year. He says his own business has increased by as much as 50 percent. But, he says the most surprising thing was who the new customers were: upper-income baby boomers.
"It’s a big thing for them to come here and have the stigma of smoking be gone," Thatcher said. "I haven’t had a problem renting out rooms."
Of course, those stigmas are a big part of the reason why many chain hotels and bigger establishments have yet to allow cannabis consumption in their properties. Many are afraid that becoming cannabis-friendly means some of their usual clientele will be scared off. Still, there are plenty of hotels in California that are condoning cannabis consumption in a more discreet fashion, according to Mike Eymer - CEO and founder of Colorado Cannabis Tours, which lists cannabis-friendly hotels in Denver, California and Las Vegas.
"They don’t want to be recognized openly,” said Eymer. "They want discreet bookings."
One of these low-key cannabis-friendly establishments is Hollywood Boulevard boutique hotel The Moment. General manager Dan Brannan says they allow guests to smoke on the hotel's rooftop lounge so that anyone who doesn't want to be exposed doesn't have to be. The cannabis consumers who come to his hotel and better than some other customers says Brannan.
"Pot smokers are not out there being screamers," he said. "I’d rather have pot smokers than alcoholics and drunks."