Study shows how cannabis legalization helps hotels

Published Mar 29, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / rilueda

Colorado Springs hotels have seen an increase in business since the legalization of recreational cannabis. The city of Denver, Colorado, saw hotel revenues reach the $130 million mark according to a Penn State researcher.

O'Neil, the pre-mentioned research professor, specializes in hospitality management. The Penn State researcher focused his study on one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis in 2014. In O'Neil's ideas, his studies could be beneficial to government officials and business owners who are considering the legalization of cannabis in their states.

The research used was from the Smith Travel Research, and the opening dates of dispensaries in the Denver area were utilized to conduct the study.  It is from this study that O'Neil can assert to the $130 million in hotel revenues.

Interestingly the higher revenue reports were only noticeable for one year

The prices for accommodation at Denver hotels were raised following the legal passing of recreational cannabis use. Visitors were increasing their travels to the Denver area during the legalization rollout in this state. For business, within this state, nothing but positivity was noticed. Increased revenue was happening within the hospitality space.

The study indicated that the lower-priced hotels and accommodation seemed to benefit the most from the legalization of the green bud. The tourist-oriented accommodation benefited more than the higher-priced business and luxury accommodations. It is interesting to note that from the studies O'Neil conducted, there was little correlation between the distance of recreational marijuana dispensaries and the hotels.

Mr. O'Neil does take note that his study was conducted during a period of economic growth within the United States, but this increase was still higher than the national average, and Mr. O'Neil attributes the results of the difference in hotel revenues across the state from the legalization of recreational cannabis in Denver.

420 friendly hotels

Federal marijuana legalization is pending in the United States. However, while the government takes it time to enact federally legal marijuana, Colorado has some amazing 420 friendly hotels that allow smoking in either the rooms or other comfortable outdoor areas.


1. Clarion Hotel Denver Central

  • Central Denver hotel
  • Limited cannabis and tobacco smoking rooms
  • Free full buffet breakfast
  • 6 Recreational dispensaries within a 4-mile radius
  • Starting rates are $90.00 per night

2. Comfort Inn Central

  • Comfortable and in Central Denver
  • Smoking area is outside and spacious
  • Free full breakfast
  • Some rooms have balconies
  • 4 Recreational dispensaries available within a 2-mile radius
  • Starting rates are $149.00 per night

3. The Stapleton Super 8

  • Clean budget hotel
  • A limited number of inside smoking rooms available
  • Fitness facilities
  • Free breakfast
  • 3 Recreational dispensaries located within a 3-mile radius
  • Starting rates are $135.00 per night

4. Hostel Fish

  • Downtown Denver
  • Features an outside area for your comfortable cannabis participation
  • 24-hour front desk and security
  • Optional private rooms
  • Bar and fridge for satisfying the munchies that will be travelling with you
  • 3 Recreational dispensaries are within a 3-mile radius
  • Starting rates are $50.00 per night

5. Magnolia Hotel Denver

  • Luxury hotel downtown
  • Vaporizer only rooms
  • Pet-friendly accommodations for your furry friends to travel with you
  • On site restaurant
  • 4 Recreational dispensaries located with a one-mile radius
  • Starting rates are $185.00 per night

So, although federal marijuana legalization is still in the process for the United States of America, 420 cannabis-friendly accommodation in Colorado is proving to be a profitable business. The legalization of recreational cannabis state-wide has enriched the budding hospitality space.

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