Colorado has been a destination for cannabis tourists since the first sale of recreational marijuana in 2014.
But at the time, state laws prohibited consuming cannabis in public places, so those tourists technically didn’t have a place to enjoy their purchases. But with the advent of consumption lounges last spring, visitors to the state now can puff in peace, and one hotelier wants to make it easy to consume cannabis on his property.
Chris Chiari, CEO and founder of The 420 Hotels Inc., recently launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine to fund the construction of a consumption lounge.
Chiari wants to raise $426,943 to convert the carriage house at the historic Patterson Inn into an upscale cannabis consumption lounge that meets international standards for an indoor smoke-filled lounge.
“Launching this campaign on StartEngine is a major step towards validating cannabis social use,” said Chiari. “We are pairing our four-star award-winning hotel with the most exciting and unique amenity in hospitality today.”
To stay updated with top startup investments, sign up for Benzinga’s Startup Investing & Equity Crowdfunding Newsletter
Hotel guests and annual members will be able to legally smoke and vape cannabis flower and concentrate and consume infused edibles in a safe, sophisticated and legal lounge environment.
“Creating and licensing space for responsible cannabis consumption represents the final mile in legalization,” Chiari said. “In the years since Colorado legalized adult-use cannabis, social use was always left to be figured out later. I’m excited that The 420 Hotels is on the forefront of providing a solution today.”
In the last decade, the legal cannabis market has been expanding at a compound annual growth rate of more than 32%. By 2028, the overall global market is expected to reach nearly $200 billion. Cannabis tourism — valued at $17 billion — is already a substantial sector in the emerging space and Chiari is positioning The 420 Hotels to become a major player.
The 420 Hotels was the first business to apply for licensure under Denver’s social consumption regulations, and Chiari has a goal of expanding to as many as 15 locations in the next five to eight years, with his sights set on some of the world’s most popular travel destinations.
It’s the second equity crowdfunding campaign for The 420 Hotels. Last year, it launched a campaign through Republic to raise money for the project.
The historic home in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood was built in 1891 by Thomas Croke, who gained fame as a merchant and experimental plant breeder and later served as a state senator. He sold the property in 1893 to Thomas Patterson who served as a U.S. congressman from 1877. (Full Story)