Starting up a canna-business can be very difficult for the average entrepreneur, especially as the regulatory environment continues to change. There’s always the option of doing ancillary work in the cannabis space, a business that doesn’t touch the federally illegal plant. That’s what Joel and Lisa Schneider have done with their successful BUD + BREAKFAST business.
It’s a model any bed and breakfast in a state with legal recreational cannabis laws can implement as a licensee, said owners Joel and Lisa.
Their flagship operation and ‘crown jewel’ inn is one of The Mile High City’s most popular bed and breakfasts: The Adagio, in Denver.
The husband and wife duo started their business in 2014 and have since transformed three Colorado bed and breakfasts from dusty inns to huge hits turning major profits.
“I never wanted to be a pioneer but I did come out here, risk my life, future, practicing of law to come out here and be in the cannabis space,” Joel told The Marijuana Times.
Joel’s tried his hand in other ancillary businesses like glass vessels, but those ventures didn’t pan out.
Searching for his niche, the idea for BUD + BREAKFAST came out of necessity for Joel as he was staying at a hotel and found himself having to blow smoke in the toilet in order not to get caught – or charged a cleanup fee.
“I don’t think this is the proper use of cannabis so I looked at the law and the best avenue for me to take was creating this bed and breakfast model because it a private location.”
It’s legal to smoke in a private location, as this isn’t a ‘social club’. It’s for guests only, and the 8-foot tall fences keep it private.
The BYOC (Bring Your Own Cannabis) bed and breakfast model can be used by any struggling inn or bed and breakfast looking to go green. It’s recommended that businesses have no more than twenty rooms, and must have some common area that will be designated for consuming cannabis.
It’s a cannabis lovers dream; wanderlust with an herbal twist.
But keeping the smoking to the common areas is key to making the model work, Joel explained.
It’s mainly to keep a friendly atmosphere and to normalize the plant. The model promotes socializing the act of smoking, something that’s been shunned and labeled taboo for so many decades.
“Based on our customers, we are doing the right things. They can’t believe they have the freedom to smoke in a living room and dining room,” he said. “No one does what we do.”
They’ve seen their fair share of stardom and success. The freedom to consume has attracted professional athletes, musicians like the Disco Biscuits, and private dispensary parties.
For it to work, the model must stay high end, “We don’t want to be a motel on the side of the road,” Joel said.
They specialize in making guests feel safe, combating any feelings of paranoia – a side effect many cannabis users experience.
The freedom for guests to be who they are and smoke what they want is infectious. “Our guests become instructors to other guests on how to use the dab rig, vaporizers, and Big Bertha,” one of the many gifts pleased guests have left behind for others to enjoy.
The rooms have exceeded the original owners’ expectations with triple the nightly rates. It virtually happens overnight, as soon as they are given the green light to implement and teach the existing staff their 420-friendly ways.
The Schneider’s are hoping to bring their tested model to other cannabis-legal states like Massachusetts, California, and Nevada through licensing the model to other business owners.
“We want to bring the model to the east coast, provide bed and breakfast owners with a new and unique business model with a method of operation already in place.” The businesses are encouraged to keep their original name.
Joel offers his legal expertise to help his licensees navigate the regulatory hurdles, and he works closely with them to teach them how to put on their daily signature Wake and Bake, and 420 Happy Hour.
“All these elements bring people together, it entices conversation,” added Joel. “There’s no place on earth besides a college town where people come together with a common interest of cannabis and we are providing a place where any adult can smoke on vacation without it being uncomfortable.”
The cannabis model could also save these struggling small business owners from the dreaded off-season.
Joel mused, “Every season is pot season.”
The model goes in-line with the foundation of what bed and breakfasts were built upon; that communal, friendly, feeling. “I’m a passionate cannabis user…I’ve always had a joint in my pocket,” Joel said candidly, “I’m a firm believer in comfort and doing it in a way that’s socially acceptable and social to people of like minds.”