Massachusetts has more or less legalized pot. I say more or less because, in 2016 – perhaps suspecting that the rest of the country might not share our overwhelming support for Hillary Clinton, and anticipating that we might need a little help getting through the next four years – the good citizens of The Commonwealth voted to legalize marijuana.
Reefer madness has not yet ensued. In fact, the recreational (vs. medical) dispensaries have not yet opened. I’m not sure why that is. Following the progress of Massachusetts splendor with the grass has not been all that high (ho-ho) on my watch list. Nonetheless, at some point after the doors do open, I’m sure I’ll do a small buy and try. For old time’s sake. (Until then, I won’t be holding my breath: it took nearly 8 years after we voted to okay medical marijuana to see the first dispensaries open.)
But medical MJ is legal, and 420 Suites is all set up to accommodate those in need of an ounce or two for health reasons. And, of course, they’ll be more than ready to assist their guests once the non-medical dispensaries – will they be called Head Shops, or something else? – open.
What is 420 Suites? It’s a short-term rental business that has about 200 pot-themed furnished flats in Boston and surrounds.
Chocolate on your pillow? That’s so pre-legalization — try a lozenge infused with the cannabis compound CBD instead. Tiny bottles of shampoo? More like tiny bottles of hemp-infused shampoo. A book of coupons to local restaurants on the desk? Replace “local restaurants” with “local dispensary” and you’re starting to get the idea…
In addition to a basket of cannabis-themed gifts, the company will offer chauffeured transportation to and from its rental units — in the Back Bay, Fenway, downtown, Longwood, and East Boston — and the Revolutionary Clinics medical marijuana dispensary in Somerville. Guests get discounts, help registering as a medical marijuana patient, and educational materials about various cannabis products.
There are even plans to offer in-suite massages with infused lotions. (Source: Boston Globe)
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), despite 420 Suites’ motto – Stay Lit - you can’t actually light up a joint in most of its apartments. And even with recreational pot-smoking legalized in Massachusetts, it remains illegal to smoke in public. (I will note that this prohibition doesn’t seem to actually prevent anyone in the city of Boston from doing so. I’ve gotten contact highs just walking down the street.) So the focus will be on edibles and items like those infused lotions. That and facilitating the medical marijuana process for medical tourists.
And, of course, being well prepared for those recreational facilities to open. After all, only a few states have generalized pot legality, so let the tourism begin! Sure, two of the other New England states – Vermont (did you have any doubt?) and Maine – have also legalized pot. But that is it for East of the Rockies. Nothing between us and Colorado. Then wide open spaces until you get to Nevada and the West Coast states.
420 Suites, by the way, is named after Weed Day, which is April 20th. The provenance of how 4/20 became associated with marijuana is unclear, which is somehow fitting. Unfortunately, the date is shared with Hitler’s birthday. So 4/20 resonates with hippies, hipsters, and the alt-right. Swell!
In any case, the company is “positioning itself to dominate the coming recreational market, the advent of which should make it far easier to connect visitors with pot.”
Until then, 420 Suites will have to content themselves with the medical crowd.
…we are the first Vacation Rental company to form partnerships with local dispensaries that allow Medical Marijuana Card holders a safe, curated experience in an effective and educational format. (Source: 420 Suites)
Love that word “curated”. How is it that these words that are never used in regular old normal person conversation all of a sudden pop up everywhere? Sort of like how, all of a sudden, Caesar salad achieved menu ubiquity a couple of decades ago.
I can imagine that the folks at 420 Suites are eagerly looking forward to the recreational market taking off. More fun, less social service. I’m aware that there are plenty of people with not much by way of “need” who manage to get a hold of a Medical Marijuana Card. But medical MJ is also used by folks with some pretty dreadful conditions.Catering to people who are ill is good and noble, but it’s not exactly in the fun zone. (Imagine living in one of those prudie states – and there are 20 of them – that don’t allow someone with MS, or enduring some ghastly chemo protocol to look for a little bit of relief?)
Anyway, 420 Suites is going to be ready, set, go when those recreational pot shops are open for business. This is one market opportunity they’re not going to let anyone else bogart.