Get a behind the scenes glimpse at the booming cannabis tourism industry with the CEO of Budandbreakfast.com, Sean Roby.
[1:57] – Sean talks about his background
[3:52] – What is Bud and Breakfast
[4:25] – Sean talks about price ranges
[5:02] – Most popular destinations
[7:39] – Sean discusses the different experiences people are looking for
[10:56] – Sean talks about adding value and experience to a customer’s stay
[12:36] – Sean talks about the different ways to book with Bud and Breakfast
[15:11] – Sean discusses 420 week
[15:50] – Emerging cannabis markets
[17:07] – Is Alaska coming onboard
[19:07] – Sean talks about the medicinal tourism crowd
[21:09] – Sean discusses Ayurvedic doshas
[26:00] – Contact details for Bud and Breakfast
Matthew: Hi. I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday look for a fresh new episode where I will take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www.cannainsider.com. That’s www.cannainsider.com . Are you an accredited investor looking to get access to the best cannabis investing opportunities? Join me at the next ArcView Group event. The ArcView Group is the premier angel investor network focused exclusively on the cannabis industry. There is simply no other place where you can find this quality and diversity of cannabis industry investment opportunities months or even years before the general public. If that’s not enough, you will also be networking with the top investors, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the cannabis space. I have personally made many of my best connections and lifelong friendships at ArcView events. If you are an accredited investor and would like to join me as an ArcView member, please email me at email@example.com to get started. Now here’s your program.
Cannabis tourism is booming. Excited by the end of prohibition many travelers are choosing to spend their vacation dollars to experience cannabis where it’s legal and have fun while doing it. Entrepreneurs are popping up to serve that need. One of those entrepreneurs is with us today, Sean Roby of Bud and Breakfast. Welcome to CannaInsider Sean.
Sean: Hey Matt thanks for having me.
Matthew: Sure thing. Sean to give listeners a sense of geography, can you tell us where you’re located in the world today?
Sean: Sure, I live in Boulder, Colorado. Our website is international though. So I could be anywhere on the planet and still function pretty good.
Matthew: Good. You’re like the four hour work week guy. You can be anywhere.
Sean: I would say it’s a bit more than that.
Matthew: Especially with the beginning of a startup.
Matthew: Now what’s your background and how did you get into this business?
Sean: Sure so you know I started actually way back when in holistic medicine and I went to school for Ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture and things like that. I had moved over to Hawaii and my wife’s family was living in Napa Valley, and so they kind of you know had a really nice, they still do have a real nice winery over there. And we started getting people kind of coming to California and to Hawaii sort of simultaneously to stay at our places, and we kind of decided to come up with this business called Taste of Travel.
And so in Napa we were kind of doing you know wine to table or farm to table experiences I should say. And just kind of giving tours of the local area and everything wine related. And then over in Hawaii we would basically, people would come and we would take them to waterfall tours and take them to kind of ancient (2.52 unclear) was you know raising his children and farming ancient taro patches and whatnot. And we had a lot of customers that were really into that, and we kind of started thinking more globally. And you know my daughter was going to come over to see you, and she gave me a call one day and said hey dad cannabis has been legalized in Colorado. And I don’t know it just kind of clicked and you know we thought oh okay cannabis tourism, that’s the next one, and it was a smart move because now it’s definitely at the forefront of everything related to Taste of Travel.
Matthew: Yeah it’s amazing how fast in the last six months has come into the forefront of the public conversation. So good timing there. I am very interested in Ayurvedic medicine. I didn’t know you had a background in that so we might hit you with a couple of questions about that before the end of the interview. But give us a background, what is Bud and Breakfast? Who does it serve? Who’s using it now? What geographies?
Sean: Sure so www.budandbreakfast.com is an online reservations website for cannabis friendly accommodations worldwide. So I mean when you ask who’s using it I would have a really hard time to kind of profile that because we have everyone from doctors, lawyers to you know international travelers to Grateful Dead Heads to every person in between all of that. It’s a full gamut and it’s everyone.
Matthew: Wow and the price range, is it from really inexpensive all the way up to something quite expensive?
Sean: We have basically from tents to mansions. You know what I mean, it’s pretty full spectrum. I mean we have you know kind of like our B&B in the sense of you know people offer couches and a bedroom within their house and then people offer their whole house. You know we even have wilderness retreats where people can stay in teepees and kind of do a camping sort of climb the summit, stay in teepees you know kind of full excursion. We have tours, we have you know the full gamut.
Matthew: And what geographies or cities are the most popular right now?
Sean: By far nationally would be Denver. You know it was the first and probably has its roots in deepest. And the other cities in the rec states are coming onboard fairly quickly, but I would say Denver for sure is number one. And then internationally I would say it’s kind of a tossup between Uruguay and Jamaica. Jamaica is really coming on strong right now. We’ve been getting a lot of listings from there, and Uruguay is kind of an exotic location as well. You know we’ve been getting a lot of people that want to go down there and I want to go down there.
Matthew: Yes interesting what’s happening both in Jamaica and Uruguay. We have some Jamaican listeners so hello to you in Jamaica. What an awesome culture and history to now be legalizing cannabis and doing it legally. So that’s awesome. And Uruguay they’ve kind of got an interesting situation where they kind of are going back and forth with hey we want this to be a commercial market, and then saying no we don’t. We actually want to control it all, the government. And they kind of go back and forth with that. Every time they kind of surrender a little bit of the market to the commercial entrepreneurs. Then they say you know what to cultivate this all ourselves. So I hope that gets cleared up soon and I hope they let the commercial cultivators and entrepreneurs flourish instead of just having one source of cannabis.
Sean: Yeah it’s interesting you know I mean what I heard lately was $1 grams. And you know I mean that is hard for a cultivator to contend with. You know at the end of the day we deal more in the tourism. So for people to be able to go to a place like Uruguay and potentially land themselves a $1 gram and you know kind of have that experience, I think it’s going to be a plus for us either way.
Matthew: Right, to just people a sense of pricing here locally in Boulder you can see anything from $10 to $20 a gram, more like $15 to $20 a gram at some of the nicer dispensaries on some of the nicer strains. So that’s a huge huge dealt on price.
Sean: Sure. We were just up in Vail and you know they have a moratorium on dispensaries within Vail, but two miles down the road in Eagle Vail there’s quite a few. And you know Vail is pretty upscale, but I saw $37 grams in the dispensaries.
Matthew: There’s a markup for you. Now what are people interested in in terms of experiences when touring, doing cannabis tours or staying at someone’s residence. I mean is it simply hey I want to place to lay my head at night and fall asleep or they want to interact with the hosts, and if so in what way?
Sean: Yeah so you know a lot of people are coming just for a full out relaxation. You know they just want to sit in a hammock and partake of some herb and just kind of rest and heal from their long work week or whatever situation that’s going on in their life. But then yeah we do have, you know, a lot of the customers coming in from out of states are wanting the full experience. And a lot of our B&B accommodation owners do offer that. Such as you know they come in, they’ll pick them up at the airport and take them to a dispensary or just come back to their house and cook for them. Some people actually are cooking with infused edibles and whatnot.
That’s kind of a big thing. A lot of people like that, and then the wake and bake kind of, you know, bacon and eggs in a bowl waiting for you. And then you know potentially a show out at Red Rocks. There are restaurants now that are infusing or even just even cannabis theme you know kind of satirical names on food items and whatnot. It’s all just so new and for a lot of people that are coming in from more draconian [ph] states it’s a big deal. You know for those of us that live here it’s just kind of life every day, but it’s not so for the rest of the country.
Matthew: That’s true. Now is there one thing in particular you’ve seen a host do to stand out and create an experience that really said wow that’s creative.
Sean: Sure I guess I could kind of reiterate my last question answer was, you know, basically the ones that are the full Bud and Breakfasts are by far the ones that are getting the most bookings. A lot of our places are cannabis friendly, but smoke outside and you know get your herbs from down the way at the dispensary. And you know we get bookings on those, but by far the ones that are doing the best are the all inclusive bud and breakfast where you get there and like I said there’s a bowl burning, potentially infused foods that are all kind of moderated by, you know, I mean these guys are pros that do this. They might even have mip or a license to serve food or make food. They include those. But definitely the bud and breakfast, the all inclusive ones are the ones that are the hot commodity.
Matthew: They’re getting the most bookings I imagine.
Sean: Most of them are booked out. It’s hard to even get them at this point.
Matthew: Now are some of these hosts thinking like hey I can turn this into a full time or a heavy part-time gig with all the traffic I’m getting and all the bookings I’m getting here?
Sean: Oh yeah I think that many of them are, you know, have probably quite their day job at this point. I think short term rentals and whatnot, I think they don’t need to go outside looking for occupation anymore. I think that they’ve found their niche. And again this is exploding. I think it’s probably the fastest growing aspect in the hospitality and travel industry at this point.
Matthew: So is it far to say if you’re a host, if you go out of your way to add some value in terms of experience, it really makes up for how much you can charge?
Sean: Yeah you know I mean it’s definitely, they cannot sell marijuana. That is illegal, but you know a lot of people are basically within recreational states you’re allowed to gift. And so you know up to a certain amount per day. And so a lot of them will just have a couple joints on the pillow you know or a bowl or a couple buds sitting out. Some of them actually have like a small minibar set up where you walk in and instead of there being alcohol there there would be jars, you know, labeled O.G. Kush, Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, what have you. It’s a novelty and it’s a lot of fun for these folks. They said it’s the most fun they’ve ever had in any job they’ve done.
Matthew: Wow. Yeah you get to really express yourself too by the strains you select and kind of explain and why you enjoy them and everything. So that’s really cool. I know here in Colorado there’s kind of, you know, kind of how there’s the foodie scene, the cannabis scene there’s a whole new language and lexicon and you know a whole new psychology to it that’s kind of, I can only say akin to the wine industry in terms of people sitting around talking about the characteristics of different strains. It’s amazing to witness the creation of that. I’m sure it always existed. It just seems more public now.
Sean: Sure I mean Denver is absolutely the Napa Valley of cannabis. I mean 100 percent. Colorado is producing some of the finest in the world at this point. I think they’ve dubbed it the new Amsterdam.
Matthew: Are bookings happening 100 percent online or do they happen by phone? What are the different ways people can book with Bud and Breakfast?
Sean: Sure so you know we are an online reservations website. So generally a booking is made, and then our clients either manually sort of okay it or it just automatically goes through. They can set that in their settings when they first set up their account. You know when a booking gets made I automatically get notified and then call the customer within a short time after the booking and talk with them and kind of vet them and see what they’re looking for specifically in the booking. And you know we get to kind of know each other. It’s a real customer service orientated business. I spend most of my day talking with people all day long.
So I feel when a booking is made, I feel comfortable that by the time they kind of through our screening process that it’s good to go. So at that point once the booking is made then we have them directly contact the accommodation owner and they kind of take it from there.
Matthew: And how many people are booking now this year so far?
Sean: You know it’s interesting we launched officially on April 1st. It was interesting because we launched on April 1st and with the 420 holiday, you know, the cannabis holiday we thought oh you know we’ll have a couple bookings per day. When we went live we were in the Denver region in particular we were completely sold out. We did not have one place. I was directing people up to Boulder, to Vail, Pagosa Springs, Glenwood Springs to our other accommodations because we were just completely sold out. Things did calm down a little bit right after April 20th holiday, and that has a lot to do with just being able to advertise. You know Google sets limits on cannabis advertising. So we’ve had to get creative and get our brand out there. And now that we’re having a lot more success in that I would say we went from a couple per day up to about 10 to 15 per day now. Exponentially when you look at the graph it’s just going up, up, up. So it’s a positive thing.
Matthew: yeah it is kind of a crazy scene here in Colorado, the 4/20 week. We had the Cannabis Cup which was huge by itself, World Cannabis Week and a number of events there along Colfax, and I’m sure a lot of other things going on, parties and stuff. It’s amazing to see how this is growing and how 420 has just really taken off that week. What have you seen?
Sean: Yeah well you know I was down there at the Cannabis Cup which was an amazing event. We did a ton of networking. I must have talked to thousands of people that day. And then right around that time was the Marijuana Investors Summit which is out by the airport and then the music events that were all happening downtown. It was quite a weekend I must say. It was a lot of fun.
Matthew: Now which markets do you think will grow the most both domestically and internationally? We spoke a little bit about Jamaica and Uruguay. Are there any others that you think will be coming on board soon in a big way?
Sean: Sure well what we’re seeing now you know Oregon legalized quite a while ago, but they actually didn’t implement a legislation until July 1st. So it actually hasn’t been officially implemented. And so as we’re getting closer to July 1st where starting to notice our Oregon accommodations coming on board which is really exciting. I think that you’re going to see a lot more, you know, obviously in the recreational states; Washington, Oregon and Alaska, we’re starting to get a lot of accommodations from them. And you know D.C., D.C. is still kind of our hold out. You know it’s kind of a, I think people are not quite sure what to think there. You know the mayor legalized going against…
Matthew: Yeah that was pretty bold. They threatened him pretty hardcore.
Sean: They did, they did. We’re really, you know, now that that’s kind of official we’re starting to advertise pretty hard down in D.C. I think that it’s going to be good for, you know, all kinds of people really but you know lobbyists and whatnot that come into town, I think that they stress relief. And I think that they’ll appreciate our accommodations that are coming onboard down there.
Matthew: How about Alaska? I think there’s a lot of crazy opportunities there with fishing and nature, but I mean it’s not, they’re still creating the rules and guidelines there, but any interest in Alaska?
Sean: Oh yeah you know we’ve been marketing up there. We have quite a few accommodations in Alaska now on our site. And you know we’re working with Charlo Greene who is the director of the Alaskan Cannabis Club. And we definitely feel that Alaska is going to come on strong. You know they’ve always kind of been sort of on the forefront or on the front tier of this whole thing. I mean I think that they actually had legalized back in… don’t officially quote me on this, but I think it was the late 80s or sometime in the 90s where they actually had legalized and then they kind of went back on it, and it’s been going back and forth for quite some time. It definitely makes sense that they would have been on the forefront of the states to go ahead and legalize recreationally.
Matthew: That’s great. I’m so curious to see what all these interesting hosts will come up with in terms of creative ways that they’ll entertain and provide experiences for their guests. I’m curious what do the hosts or hotel that are part of Bud and B, what do they think about cannabis guests? Are they thrown off by them? What’s their general reaction?
Sean: Oh no in fact the contrary. I would say our hosts have found the cannabis clientele to be way more friendlier and easy to deal with. You know as quoted by our friends from the First Inn down in Pagosa Springs, this is the kicker, “these folks are way less likely to be throwing bottles of Jack Daniels through the window.” You know I mean honestly like when people are smoking cannabis they are, they’re wanting to relax. They’re just having a good time. They’re not binge drinking. They’re not trashing and destroying and vandalizing things. You know and this is going to, you know, at the end of the day this is going to make it so that cannabis travelers are way more desirable than your average traveler that just wants to drink and party and kind of come from that more aggressive standpoint.
Matthew: We’ve been talking about recreational tourism, but is there any medicinal tourism you see?
Sean: Absolutely. You know we’re working with the Charlotte’s Web crew. It’s CW Botanicals, and they’re kind of on the forefront of the CBD strains and providing medicine for children with epilepsy and you know people in general with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s, colitis, diabetes, I mean, even celiacs and whatnot. And so what we’re seeing now I wouldn’t say it’s the majority of our travelers, but we are definitely seeing an up tick in people coming to Colorado kind of as refugees you know looking for a place where they can safely and legally administer medicine for either themselves or to their loved ones. So we’re actually working with the realm of care folks to get in wellness baskets and whatnot that are going to have CBD tinctures and lotions and whatnot. Our accommodation owners are really excited about this.
Matthew: I particularly notice a lot of people from Texas fitting kind of that refugee status because they can’t really do anything or help their kids or help themselves in any meaningful way. So it seems like almost every day I’m bumping into someone from Texas. So there is a steady stream, and I hope their legislation changes down there soon which it looks like it might.
Sean: Yeah I keep hearing things. Little snippets of, you know, potentially even full legalization which would be amazing for Texas. I would say that for Colorado, specifically for our accommodations, Texas is our number one market.
Matthew: Wow, interesting. A lot of people are not familiar with this Ayurvedic diet or Ayurvedic medicine, and I just became familiar with it in the last couple of years. And there’s certain dosha types. Can you explain what doshas mean. It’s not every day I have someone on the show that understands this really well, the different doshas, what they mean and how to think about them?
Sean: Sure so you know I think a lot of people know probably a little bit more about Chinease medicine and the elements that go into that, and you know whether a disease or a medical history was based on too much dampness, too much coldness, too much heat and whatnot. In Ayurveda we have Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. And Vata is the element that represents or the dosha that represents air and ether. So it’s cold and dry. So for a person I mean this is a real quick sum up here, but if a person was cold and dry, you would treat them with the opposites. So like increases like and opposites treat each other. So in the case Vata air and ether is cold and dry so you want to treat them with warm and moist. Pitta is fire and water. So think steam, they’re the leaders. They’re the real direct kind of CEOs. You know physiologically they’re probably kind of musclely, maybe freckley, you know tend to be prone towards heat, but again really good at directing.
And so you know generally we, you know, if it’s moist and it’s hot we’re going to treat it with the opposite which would be dry and cool. Kapha is generally it’s going to be the thick boned, you know, kind of big teeth, slow, generally get things done. These all can be related to animals too. So Vata is like when you take the pulse of a person who’s Vata it’s going to be they kind of attribute it a snake. So it kind of jumps from finger to finger when you’re taking the pulse. It’s kind of sporadic, you know, maybe some palpations here and there like a flutter. And when you get into Pitta it’s going to be strong, steady, kind of like a frog jumping. And then a swan is going.. oh sorry, a Kapha is going to be more like a swan where it’s just kind of like a little slower, steady, not as intense as Pitta.
But generally the foundation of Ayurvedic medicine is you know going to the root of the disease. We call it dis-ease you know. Instead of covering up the symptoms Ayurvedic medicine is I think it’s the oldest known medical system on the planet. So a lot of, you know, when I lived in India and Nepal during my internship, a lot of Western style doctors actually go to school 50 percent for Ayurvedic and 50 percent for Western medicine to kind of give that well-rounded approach.
Matthew: It’s amazing too. When I first started learning about this I took a couple online quizzes, and I wasn’t expecting much. It’s so easy to identify what dosha you are, and some people kind of overlap maybe two, but it’s amazing. What’s your dosha?
Sean: You know actually it’s interesting. My professor told me that I was tri-doshic. So it’s really rare. You know that a person can be Vata, Pitta and Kapha in equal proportions. And so you know when I’m in Hawaii, you know, which is warm and moist, my Pitta and my Kapha come out. So I have to kind of like eat a little bit lighter and tend to be a little bit more active so I don’t kind of get into that sort of Hawaii lethargy because it’s so warm. When I’m in Colorado I tend to be drier, you know the upper elevation, my Vata comes out more so I have foliate myself a lot more. I have to eat a lot more sort of nutritive, moist foods.
You know per the season too, in winter I’m going to be eating a lot more warm foods, and in the summer I’m going to be eating lighter foods and cooler foods. The foundation of Ayurvedic medicine is opposites treat each other and like increases like. You don’t eat more of what you are. If you’re having a heat condition, you know, you’re not going to drink a bunch more alcohol and eat a bunch of hot food, that would be contrary to wisdom. So you’re going to be generally, you know, doing the opposite of the element that you’re existing in. And so that somehow runs contrary to a lot of Western thought, but it is kind of simple wisdom ultimately.
Matthew: I will try to include a quiz or a self diagnosis, something, a link in the show notes for people that are interested in this because I find it really fascinating and very helpful too. Once you understand your dosha or two doshas or in Sean’s case three which is really rare from my understanding, you can start to eat and treat yourself a little different and notice positive benefits. As we close how can listeners find Bud and Breakfast online?
Sean: Yeah so you know it’s real simple. You can do a Google search for Bud and Breakfast or you can just type in www.budandbreakfast.com. So www.budandbreakfast.com is our website.
Matthew: Sean thanks so much for being on CannaInsider and educating us. We really appreciate it.
Sean: Thank you Matt for the opportunity.
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