2018 Primetime Emmy
& James Beard Award Winner

R&K Insider: A very special weed edition

We don’t shy way from the dos and don’t of weed-inflected travel.

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Happy Thursday, dear readers! I hope you’re planning a relaxing weekend in anticipation of the holiday madness about to take hold in much of the world. For some of you, that may include a stiff drink or a long run, while for others, it will mean a not-insignificant amount of cannabis consumption. I’ve been thinking about marijuana and travel specifically since we ran an article on the company trying to turn a former mining town in the Mojave into a pot paradise earlier this week. Pot tourism is almost universally seen as a guiding force in 2018, and the implications for the hospitality industry are vast (while the legal implications are confusing at best).

Although we certainly don’t shy way from the dos and don’ts of weed-inflected travel, I won’t pretend to be an expert on the matter. So I turned to David Weiner, co-founder of Gossamer (along with the incredibly talented Verena von Pfetten) a brand-spanking new publication focused on travel, food, and culture for weed appreciators everywhere. He agreed to weigh in on all things weed and travel related. Take it away, David:

“The world is finally catching up with what so many of us have known for so long: a little bit of weed makes everything better. Especially travel.

It certainly helps that it’s beautiful states like Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and California that have been leading the way when it comes to cannabis legalization, but even those lacking in stunning scenery and immersive activities will continue to be a massive draw for those looking for something extra to complete their vacation experience.

Cannabis can offer something for nearly everyone, be it a morning boost before a hike, a giddy social lubricant for a group dinner, or a natural antidote to sleepless nights. The stoner stereotype of yore has given way to the reality of the sensible, responsible, and “normal” consumer who is looking for something to complement their outdoor adventure or indoor self-care. While there’s no doubt that the hospitality market in the industry will be huge (even the legendary 88-year-old Arthur Frommer is a believer), how that manifests itself remains to be seen.

We’re especially bullish on what cannabis means for the short-term lodging industry. A catch for many of the places where prohibition has ended is that while the purchase and sale of the plant may have been legalized, the actual consumption —or at least smoking— of it has been severely limited. You can easily find yourself in a situation where there’s weed, weed everywhere, but not a drop to smoke.

Smoking cigarettes, let alone cannabis, is a no-go in most hotels, and doing so on the street could get you fined, or more. Businesses that bill themselves as the “Airbnb of cannabis” have sprung up to meet this demand in recreational states, and only more will enter the market as the industry matures and the stigma continues to be erased. These companies may find themselves successful in the short-term (somewhat fitting considering the product they’re offering), but as legalization occurs across the country, it’s more likely that the more mainstream versions of these companies (Airbnb, VRBO, etc) will simply absorb this growing demand into their regular business models and offerings.

We’re also big believers in the exploding CBD market, especially for business travelers and vacationers. CBD products have skyrocketed in the health and wellness space, used for anything from headaches and arthritis to Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. But it’s also a great way for a flier to beat jet lag, stave off insomnia, and fight altitude sickness (wherever that may apply). The common and most effective tinctures literally won’t fly with some airports, so other forms of CBD such as balms and edibles are probably a traveler’s best bet.

It’s still the wild west when it comes to cannabis in the U.S., but one thing is for sure: we’ve only just scratched the surface of what it means for nearly every industry, especially the hospitality one.”

Thanks, David! If there is one thing I have learned this learned it’s that I should quit my job and launch a line of boutique, travel-themed edibles, like those twee little drink kits but with sativa lip balm and an indica caramel or some such. We’ll throw some cute typography on there and a die-cut wrapper and mint money. We can call it the Dab Bag. Or the Bake Box. The Traveling Tin. Now this is all I’ll think about today so send me suggestions.

Alright, now here’s just some high stuff: why is a video of different traffic patterns so mesmerizing? How about whipping up a big bowl of the blasphemy that is Cincinnati chili? Seriously though, I don’t think there are enough drugs in this world to make me want a chili/spaghetti hybrid; that is just messed up. Follow Gossamer on Instagram for some wonderful visual non sequiturs. I’m stone-cold sober and I could stare at that flamingo all day. Portugal’s radical drug policy is working; why isn’t everyone copying it? From the other side of the world, what’s it like to be a drug dealer in China? And finally, not really pot related, but a good read on how to break the food-writing bubble.

That’s it for this week! See you again next time for more of the best in food, travel, and politics from around the web. Tweet me stories you want to see here @caraparks, and forward this email liberally!

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