Are You Ready to Meet in the Mile “High” City?

January 21, 2014

shutterstock_130733993Cocktails and food have been a staple of meetings and conferences since the beginning of time.  Event organizers have even planned special wine, tequila and bourbon tasting events. Personally, I’ve developed much more of an appreciation for beer after being educated by a Cicerone at MPI WEC last July.  So, I ask you how will you handle marijuana and meetings in states like Colorado and Washington, where it is now legal.

While Colorado currently has less than 50 retailers approved to sell the green stuff, we can expect to see the growth of marijuana selling establishments in the next year. With Washington state about to start issuing license to sell and at least five states working towards legalization in their states, marijuana use is going to become an issue for meeting planners.  Are you ready to deal with it?

Seven Things  About Marijuana and Meetings to Consider 
  1. Opinions on Marijuana Are Shifting in the US.  Over fifty percent of Americans think that it should be legalized. This probably includes your conference attendees. 
  2. Restaurants are already offering food and weed pairings. Are you ready to see which blend pairs best with beef or chicken? 
  3. How will you deal with attendees who visit legal venues to partake? What about vendors who want to host events that include marijuana? Will you impose your own rules regarding behavior and use?
  4. If you choose to serve marijuana at and event as you would beer or wine, how will people react and will you be ready to address any pushback?
  5. Have you considered how it might impact the educational experience? Cannabis has been proven in studies to increase creativity. Might it have a positive impact on working sessions?
  6. What will your guidelines for staff usage be? Can a staffer enjoy a joint after hours while onsite in Colorado?
  7. What states could be next? Are you taking this into consideration when booking several years out?

Over the next few years, there will be a lot of opinions and conversations about how marijuana might play at part in meetings and conferences. Are you having this conversation in your organization?