How Massachusetts inns are going ‘420-friendly’ for travelers

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Melody Whelden has been welcoming travelers to her western Massachusetts inn for almost 20 years, but this previous year marked a initially: An influx of out-of-state guests booked a area due to the marijuana-friendly accommodations and proximity to recreational cannabis dispensaries.

“It’s a new audience,” mentioned Whelden, a Cape Cod native. “They’ve been my small bit of a godsend when it is the dead time, exactly where I know immediately after 20 years of performing this, you’d greater save some dollars for November and December.”

Melody’s Spot, an 1860 Victorian dwelling in Charlemont, gives 4 “420-friendly” rooms exactly where guests can smoke outdoors on the covered porch or private deck.

“I have two rooms with a private entrance that have small decks on them,” Whelden mentioned. “So these are good spots to sit and smoke. You have to be outdoors for the reason that I have folks who keep right here who do not smoke as well.”

The term “420 friendly” seems on the inn’s web site, House Away, and Airbnb listings. She mentioned more than the previous six months, 50 to 60 % of her guests have been attracted by her cannabis-friendly accommodations, traveling from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and even North Carolina.

A lot of of them check out the 3 marijuana dispensaries that are inside an hour drive of her location: Berkshire Roots in Pittsfield, Insa in Easthampton, and New England Remedy Access (NETA) in Northhampton. Her place is best for the reason that of nearby seasonal offerings as effectively, she mentioned, which contain leaf peeping, skiing, and extra.

Whelden mentioned she’s observed the most significant uptick throughout midweek and off-peak travel months. November is normally a slow month, but this year she’s experiencing extra midweek bookings, some of which had been due to interest in going to the nearby dispensaries.

A lot of Massachusetts hotels and rental accommodations have policies against utilizing cannabis on their house, according to the Cannabis Handle Commission, so the commission recommends checking the guidelines prior to consuming marijuana exactly where you keep. The commission’s jurisdiction is restricted to licensed marijuana establishments and healthcare marijuana remedy centers, but it could commence issuing licenses for social consumption establishments pending a bill prior to the legislature that would permit cities and towns to opt in to hosting such facilities.

Melody’s Spot is also listed on budandbreakfast.com, which has been referred to as “the Airbnb of marijuana-friendly lodging.” Budandbreakfast.com, launched in Colorado in 2013, has extra than 1,000 listings worldwide and about 25 in Massachusetts, according to CEO Sean Roby.

“I feel, by this time subsequent year, you are going to see 100 [listings in Massachusetts], at least,” Roby mentioned. “It’s one particular state in the East exactly where you have a pretty smaller quantity of states, nonetheless, that have totally recreationally legalized [marijuana]. Massachusetts is setting the typical, and folks adore it.”

On the website, travelers search for and book “420-friendly” inns, rooms, and bed and breakfasts. As with Airbnb, the host sets the price, and budandbreakfast.com receives a reduce.

“We pride ourselves in saying we list couches to castles,” Roby mentioned. “We have locations exactly where a hostel will list a area for 30, 40 bucks a evening, and then we have locations that are $three,000 a evening.”

So who are the travelers?

“We’re seeing each and every kind of traveler, from the Grateful Deadhead individual to the lawyer to the medical doctor,” he mentioned.

Melody’s Spot, a marijuana-friendly Airbnb in Charlemont.—Melody’s Spot

Legalization in states such as Colorado and California has “opened up huge new tourism possibilities,” according to Beej Das, president and CEO of Troca Hotels &amp Yachts, a New England- and Florida-primarily based luxury way of life hospitality firm that incorporates The Stonehedge Hotel &amp Spa in Tyngsborough, which bills itself as “Massachusetts’ initially cannabis-friendly hotel.”

Das thinks Massachusetts is poised to comply with in these states’ footsteps.

“Right now we’re at the starting of that bell curve,” he mentioned. “There’s going to be a point exactly where we’re aspect of a uncommon group of locations exactly where you can use cannabis in a luxury way of life setting. There’s going to be a period exactly where a lot of locations permit it.”

The Stonehedge launched a 420 encounter package on April 20. For an added $175, guests can keep in one particular of two designated cannabis-friendly rooms with balconies, get a “munchie and hydration kit,” limitless flatbreads at the hotel’s restaurant, and extra. Das noted that cannabis is not integrated, and the package’s vaporizer has been replaced with a present card considering that the 4-month statewide vape sales ban went into impact.

Das mentioned cannabis opens up new tourism possibilities for the reason that, like alcohol and meals, it delivers an chance for folks to socialize about an activity.

“What we realized pretty immediately is that the folks who are socializing about cannabis are also the folks that attract other folks to socialize about them,” mentioned Das.

Though there has been “some blowback” by guests who do not smoke, Das mentioned the package has been effectively received, and extra cannabis-friendly plans are in the performs for 2020, he mentioned.

“We’re going to be functioning with a couple of diverse groups that have approached us to do dinners with edibles,” mentioned Das. “They’ll bring a chef. They’ll monitor the quantity of cannabis in diverse dishes and entrees and desserts, and they will curate the encounter for guests.”

The hotel will develop extra space for smokers as effectively, he mentioned, in the kind of a villa that is not connected to the primary constructing.

“The purpose we’re establishing that is we’re attempting to integrate two communities right here,” he mentioned.

Discretion is critical, but so is social intermingling amongst these who consume cannabis and these who do not, he mentioned.

“What we’re seeing is, eventually, the social mix that is made in our restaurants and lounges when you are in a position to integrate the two — it is magical.”

If you go:

Melody’s Spot, 193 Primary St., Charlemont, 413-337-4322

The Stonehedge Hotel &amp Spa, 160 Pawtucket Blvd., Tyngsborough, 987-649-4400



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