2020 is the year of marijuana, but is the hospitality industry ready?
According to a recent poll by Gallup, 66% of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana. This marks the third year that support for legalization has increased. Today, 47 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana (though many states still have very restrictive regulations regarding what is permitted), and 11 states have legalized the drug for recreational purposes. With marijuana becoming more mainstream than ever, hotels should capitalize on this new wave of opportunity. But is your hotel ready for cannabis-based hospitality? Here are some of the things to consider.
- Legal Concerns
While marijuana is a legalized substance in many states, federal law still considers cannabis an illegal drug. This can create a complicated legal web for businesses that want to allow marijuana use on their property. According to cannabis lawyers, there are many businesses in the hospitality industry who want to take advantage of marijuana’s legalized status. However, confusing licensing processes and constantly changing laws prevent many from exploring new ventures.
- Safety and Liability Issues
Another reason that the hospitality industry has trouble getting into the cannabis business is due to safety and liability concerns. Due to public safety concerns, many states have limits on where marijuana businesses can be located. For instance, cannabis-based businesses are usually prohibited from areas where children frequent, such as near schools and playgrounds. Furthermore, some cities, such as Denver, Colorado, have laws that prohibit businesses from selling both alcohol and cannabis products. As most hotels feature bars, this is a liability risk that most are not willing to take.
- Possibilities for the Future
While there are many roadblocks preventing hospitality businesses from making headway into the cannabis market, there are some breaking through the confusing licensing and banking regulations. For instance, some hotels will introduce designated cannabis consumption areas. To ensure that these areas comply with regulations, property owners will have to set guidelines for guests to follow, just like with smoking. Additionally, such areas will have to be marked with signs and may require constructed demarcations and related infrastructure, such as ventilation systems. In the case of restaurants and cafes, there will have to be a clear distinction between the cannabis part of a business and its other operations. Making your business cannabis-ready requires experienced contractors that will ensure that your plans comply with all state and local codes.
This is what you need to know about hotels entering the cannabis industry. Are you looking to reinvent your hotel? Then consider upgrading your property. For assistance with your next renovation project, contact Nikki Fox at Parkwest General Contractors at Nikki@ParkwestGC.com. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your building upgrade needs today.