Vail, Beaver Creek hotel concierge services assisting with pot-related questions
BEWARE OF EDIBLES
Before sinking your teeth into edibles, know the facts.
What are edibles?
Gone are the days of just weed brownies. Now, there are cookies, gummies, cakes, hard candies, chocolate bars and more. Unlike smoking cannabis, where cannabinoids enter the body through the lungs, edibles introduce cannabinoids through the digestive system, resulting in a high that is more intense and lasts much longer.
What are the effects of edibles?
Because the active ingredients are absorbed by different parts of the body, there are differences between eating and smoking cannabis. Smoking — from a pipe, joint or bong — generally affects users immediately, but also diminishes quicker. The high that comes with edibles tends to be more relaxing than smoking, giving more of a “body” high than a “head” high.
Eating and dosing responsibly
Some edible products contain as much as 100 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and therefore should be broken into multiple servings. Other edibles have lower dosages of THC, such as 5 milligrams or 10 milligrams. Edibles take longer to start working — usually 30 minutes to an hour — and can last between four and 12 hours, depending on the dose. New users or smaller-sized people might find 10 milligrams too potent, and therefore might be better off starting with 5 milligrams.
Consuming too much
Eating less may provide a better buzz than eating too much, and consuming too many edibles is rarely a pleasant experience. Because it may be hard to determine how much dosage your body needs, it’s best to wait at least one hour to assess the effect. Signs of edibles overdose include paranoia, lack of coordination and hallucinations. If you feel you’ve gone overboard, don’t panic. Symptoms usually subside within a few hours. Stay calm, stay hydrated, and eat food.
The Vail Daily caught up with four local hotels and members of their concierge services to ask what life’s like with the cheeba chasers coming to Colorado.
From 70-year-olds inquiring about marijuana to housekeepers throwing the extras away after the guests leave, here’s some questions you might be thinking to yourself when arriving to weed-friendly Colorado.
WHERE TO TOKE?
Not at the hotel, that’s for sure. Yes, marijuana is legal here and the Cheetos business is booming, but there are still laws and regulations. A great way to think about it is to consider pot as you would alcohol.
Marijuana is illegal to consume in public — you can’t walk down Bridge Street drinking a beer just as you can’t smoke a joint. It is illegal to drive drunk just as it’s illegal to drive under the influence of pot, no matter how slowly you’re driving.
It is also illegal to consume marijuana on U.S. Forest Service property — aka Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort — although beer is sold across the resorts.
Most hotels are smoke-free, leaving visitors in quite a dilemma of where to smoke their dope (edibles don’t smell and are thus OK to consume in hotels).
“It’s a hard question,” said Brandon Crow, of the Tivoli Lodge in Vail. “If they ask, I insinuate that it’s under their discretion. I’m not going to give them permission to smoke anywhere. I’ll let them know where they can find it, but that’s up to them how they want to use it.”
Some of the hotel employees said some guests smoke in the room, either out of ignorance for the rules or disregard for the hotel staff — and housekeeping.
“I think mostly what happens is that they just smoke in their room and/or their balconies and they end up getting charged for it,” said Marla Butler, of The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon.
The fee at the Westin is a $200 damage and cleaning fee, and while hotels do thorough cleans regularly, deep cleans are required after smoking occurs in the room. That includes taking down the drapes and deeply cleaning the upholstery.
“It can be really labor intensive,” Butler said. “We have dogs, anyways, and we do a deep clean after them, but smoking deep clean is much worse.”
Smoking penalties at local hotels range up to about $500. Many of them are installing no smoking signs to reiterate the rules of the hotel and better educate guests.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
The most common question these concierges seem to be hearing is “Where can I get it?” and “How can I get there?”
With no pot shops in Vail or Beaver Creek, guests staying at hotels there must figure out transportation to the Green Mile in Eagle-Vail or other shops across the county. Some concierges, such as those at the Sonnenalp, have educated their staff about the local shops and the differences between them, helping to provide better information for a guest who inquires.
“I think there’s still that stigma of asking out in the open about it — asking an official hotel person — and they’re kind of nervous about it is what I’ve noticed,” Butler said.
Most concierge services are prepared to assist, while some put the onus on the guest to know the laws and regulations. Butler said at The Westin, they are “absolutely” open to all questions.
“The funny thing is it’s more from Florida people and they are elderly people — between 70 and 80,” said Renee Steiner, of The Charter at Beaver Creek. “They all ask very nicely and say thank you and that’s it.”
For many guests, legal marijuana is a novelty experience — one they can’t get back home in certain states.
“A lot of these people aren’t from Colorado, so it’s kind of an experience if they’re from a state that’s not totally all about it,” Crow said.
Many hotel employees stressed that it’s OK to ask them about marijuana — it is a legal product anyways. But when you leave, know what happens to that extra nug or edible that you leave behind.
“They all leave it because they can’t travel with it,” said Lisa Smith, of the housekeeping department at The Charter. “We have to throw it away because it’s illegal to send it in the mail, so it’s trash.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.