Article by Tara Deschamps, Toronto Star via Toronto.com
The spare room in Abi Roach’s Kensington Market home long served as a video game space until she recently put a different spin on recreation. She decorated it with a cannabis-leaf-patterned blanket, piles of magazines dedicated to the substance and a stash of smoking devices.
But the room isn’t just for her enjoyment. It’s seen a handful of visitors since Roach, the owner of the nearby cannabis-centric Hotbox Café, listed it about four months ago on rental website Airbnb as a “funky 420” space.
“The people are all super-cool,” she said, noting she has yet to have a guest that wasn’t pro-cannabis. “They get a bong in their room and a little tray of rolling papers and they love it.
“A lot of people who are coming are looking for unique experiences rather than just an all-inclusive hotel.”
The interest Roach’s space has generated puts her in a growing group of Canadians using “bud and breakfast” properties to cash in on the recent legalization of recreational cannabis.
On various rental and cannabis-centric tourism sites, the Star found dozens of “420-friendly” homes, including Muskoka cottages, a 54-hectare estate far north of Toronto and several condos, lofts and houses throughout the entire province.
Some promised hemp bedding, smoking lounges, access to pipes and bongs, enough space to throw a 40-person pot party and sometimes even “a complimentary gram.”
The rise of such listings is being aided by Ontario’s laws that allow cannabis to be consumed in private residences, though landlords and building boards can put no-smoking terms in leases.
Asked about its cannabis policies, Airbnb said only that “when users sign up with Airbnb they must certify that they will comply with local rules and regulations.”