A Desert Hotel Adapts To Local Economy By Going Cannabis Friendly

Thanks to the increasing number of states legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, a new and interesting phenomenon has developed-- cannabis tourism. For marijuana aficionados who live in illegal states or states where the laws are prohibitive, this type of self-explanatory vacation can be hugely appealing. It can also be profitable for businesses in areas where cannabis can be purchased and used without legal repercussions.

Iris Dorbian Contributor  Forbes.com

 I cover the business of cannabis.

For Desert Hot Springs Inn, a small 61-year-old boutique hotel located 15 minutes away from Palm Springs, California, re-branding as cannabis friendly was a way to adapt to the local economy. Currently, the Southern California community, renowned for its spas, has six operating dispensaries and 26 grow facilities, according to a spokesperson at the City of Desert Hot Springs. In October 2014, the city was the first in the state to allow the commercial cultivation of marijuana.

“Cannabis tourism was becoming a trend, with people coming from all over the country to visit our cannabis industrial complex, our grow facilities, and our famous dispensaries,” says John Thatcher, innkeeper at Desert Hot Springs. “We saw the city developing into that direction and we thought it would be a kind of business strategy to tap into that.”

Thatcher and the hotel’s owners approached a city official to inquire about a permit. Much to their pleasant surprise, the official told them they didn’t need one. “He said consumption on private property is not illegal,” recounts Thatcher. “You don’t have a permit that you need.”  This rule helped Desert Hot Springs navigate a tricky California law that bans smoking pot in public establishments. Because the bed and breakfast-style hotel is considered private property, guests are free to smoke or vape anywhere on the premises.

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