Hotel Business as the cover story (it starts on page 20). This is not necessarily a reflection of our opinions on the subject, but it is, very much, a reflection on the industry and where it is heading. More and more, you see states passing into law the legalization of its use, and some people even predict that very soon—or, at least, in the not-so-distant future—it will become federal law.
On a related note, while not cannabis, ask yourself: How many times in how many places have you seen hemp-derived CBD products in the past year or so? There are dedicated stores, treatments in spas, aisles in pet outlets, and even craft cocktails in F&B establishments. I got a massage recently, billed as a CBD massage, using CBD-based oils, touting its healing effects. And when I went to buy my Christmas tree last month and asked why the price was so extraordinarily high, I was told two reasons: 1) 10 years ago was 2009 and we were in recession so not as many trees were planted and 2) many of the Christmas tree farms have been turned into cannabis and hemp farms. Fad? No. Trend? Yes.
Interestingly enough, back in January 2014, for the ALIS issue, the Editor at the time wrote a Viewpoint piece titled “Going to pot: Can your hotel reach new highs without catering to smokers?” It was written just after marijuana was legalized for non-medical, recreational use in the first state of Colorado. The editor went on to share his thoughts on what this “groundbreaking decision” could mean for hoteliers and the industry at large. “Right now, the issue is confined to Colorado,” he wrote, “but you can be relatively certain that the dominoes that are other states are going to start falling since the precedent has been set.” He went on to state, “For Colorado hoteliers right now, and likely many more U.S. hotels in the coming years, they need to decide if they want to be clean.”
That was six years ago. Today, the mindset of many has evolved as more research comes out, and the message has been refined: Cannabis and CBD have made their way into the ever-growing health and wellness narrative, which continues to make its way, at a rapid pace, into the hospitality industry. And there are industry veterans banking on it—and planning for it. Cannabis-based properties—seen as places of restoration rather than smokehouses—where education about the products is baked in to the mission, is, say advocates, something retail can’t offer but a resort can.