By Cassandra Dowell
Cannabis tourism has become a buzzword in the hospitality industry, with visitors to Colorado spending millions of dollars to enjoy cannabis recreationally.
And now The MaryJane Group (OTCQB: MJMJ), a hospitality management company based in Colorado, is expanding its reach in the sector with the opening of a 170-acre all-inclusive getaway in Durango, Colorado, for adults who enjoy cannabis. CannaCamp, a “bud and breakfast” mountain resort, is now accepting reservations for the summer season, July 1 through Oct. 31, 2015.
CannaCamp is The MaryJane Group’s third property. The company also has two “bud and breakfasts” in the Denver area. In a recent interview, Joel Schneider, CEO of The MaryJane Group and operator of CannaCamp, told MJINews that the company is looking into franchising the brand for potential operators in other states where medical marijuana is legal.
CannaCamp formerly operated as a dude ranch, and is well suited to serve cannabis enthusiasts, Schneider explained. “We had been searching the entire state [of Colorado] for additional properties,” he said, noting that the owners of the ranch were seeking a new way to utilize the property. “It’s a high end resort, and all of the elements were in place, such as the pool, the hot tub and the lake. We’ve seen the success of our bed and breakfasts, and know people have a desire to smoke [cannabis] and socialize.”
CannaCamp combines recreational cannabis use with education, wellness and other types of programming, via a partnership with Cultivating Spirits, a cannabis-themed experiences, tours and education company.
A stay at CannaCamp includes accommodations in one of the property’s nine cabins, drinks including beer and wine and daily gourmet meals. Guests also have unlimited access to equipment and guides for outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddle-boarding, fishing, hikes and mountain biking. Arts and wellness classes, such as Canvas and Cannabis and Cannabis Yoga, will also be available.
For legal purposes, CannaCamp includes everything but the cannabis itself. However, the resort has exclusive relationships with area dispensaries, so guests can get special rates on products and enjoy other perks, Schneider said. Dining at CannaCamp features cuisine using locally sourced ingredients for the camp’s “Wake & Bake Breakfast, 4:20 Happy Hour” and daily lunch and dinner. The resort’s cannabis concierge recommends pairings of strains available at partner dispensaries for each night’s dinner. For example, Grand Daddy Purple with Roasted Duck Breast or Sour Diesel with Copper River Salmon.
CannaCamp allows marijuana consumption in all public areas. In Colorado, public consumption is illegal, and most hotels do not allow cannabis consumption. “CannaCamp offers guests the total freedom to smoke at any part in the ranch [except for inside the cabins]. If you want to take a hike with a joint, you can. If you want to smoke and play volleyball, you can.”
As more states legalize cannabis, the need for cannabis-friendly lodging will continue to grow, he said. “The Holiday Inns of the world are never going to cater to cannabis tourists,” he said, noting that most hotels serve families and those traveling for business.
CannaCamp can accommodate up to 40 guests at a time in its one-, two- and three-bedroom cabins. Rates start at $395 per person per night. “We’re looking to attract the same demographic as our bed and breakfasts,” he said. “From the younger, 35-year-old, to the Baby Boomer. People who love cannabis like we do.”
In addition to its resort, The MaryJane Group also sees opportunities for franchising its brand to operators in other states where medical marijuana is legal, Schneider said. “We want to open a marijuana lodging facility that provides housing for patients, or patients’ family members who travel to receive treatment,” he said, noting the model may appeal to existing bed and breakfast operators looking to expand their clientele. “That’s on the drawing board. We’re always looking at ways to expand our business.”