So you want to smoke weed in your hotel room?
Well, you most likely are going to face and uphill battle for a few reasons. You’ll have to deal with marijuana laws and no-smoking hotel policies but there may be some instances where it is okay (and even encouraged) to smoke at your hotel.
Below, I’ll break down everything you want to consider before you think about firing up some MJ at a hotel.
Can you smoke weed in a hotel room?
You cannot smoke weed in many hotel rooms because it is against the law and/or there are policies against smoking in rooms. However, there are some occasions where you will be able to smoke weed in your hotel room and there are even some hotels that encourage marijuana consumption. Keep reading below for more details!
Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!
It’s no secret that possession of marijuana is illegal in many states in the US. In the West and Northeast, you can find a lot of states where marijuana is legal but in the South and Midwest it is still illegal in the majority of states.
A lot of states have lessened the penalties for getting caught with marijuana and have basically decriminalized it so that you may only get hit with a fine if caught with it in reasonable (small) amounts.
But there are still plenty of states that will take you directly to jail if you’re caught with even small amounts.
Even if you are in a state that has completely legalized marijuana, remember that there is probably a ban or limitation on consuming it in public. For example, in Arizona weed is legal but based on the law you cannot use it in public places.
That includes “hotel and motel common areas” which would include hotel lobbies and even outdoor areas surrounding the hotel.
Hotel rooms are somewhat on par with a private residence in terms of an expectation of privacy (which is why cameras in hotel rooms are not allowed).
So I don’t think a law banning marijuana consumption in a public place would apply to marijuana consumption in a hotel room, although there could be separate laws banning any smoking in hotel rooms.
This means that if recreational marijuana is legal where you are and the law/hotel allows you to smoke in your room, you MAY not encounter any issues smoking in your hotel room or on a private balcony.
Just remember, a private hotel could always decide they do not want to allow marijuana smoking.
So to make sure you are in the clear to smoke, here are the questions you need to ask:
- Is recreational marijuana use legal where the hotel is located?
- Does the local law allow you to smoke in a hotel room?
- Does the hotel allow you to smoke in that particular hotel room?
If the answer to all three questions is yes there is a high likelihood you can smoke weed in your hotel room without a problem but you still may want to verify that with the hotel.
NOTE: That is not a legal opinion and you should consult an attorney to get clarification for your specific circumstances.
The federal stance
Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level.
According to the DEA, “Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.”
Marijuana being illegal at the federal level is more relevant to flying with marijuana on a plane or going through an airport but it is still something to consider when staying at hotels and crossing state lines.
Take-a-way: Smoking weed in many states is still illegal. In states that have legalized marijuana, you still likely cannot smoke it in hotel common areas but smoking in your room may be permissible.
Hotel concerns with smoking weed
Even if you are in a state that has legalized marijuana, the hotel may have a no smoking policy. For example, Marriott is known for its no smoking policy across all of its properties.
Some hotels may offer special rooms designated for smokers but others will completely outlaw it. At the time of booking and usually at check-in, the smoking policy is made pretty clear.
So if you attempt to smoke weed in some hotel rooms you could be violating the hotel’s policy and that could result in a fee or potentially them asking you to leave.
Smoking weed in a hotel room could be a problem because it’s possible you could set off the hotel’s fire alarm. If the hotel has banned smoking in your room, that could obviously get you in trouble with the hotel and possibly fined.
Some hotel guests will tamper with the fire alarm in order to avoid detection but this can be very unwise.
First, assuming you were able to disable the fire alarm (without breaking it or causing it to go off) it’s possible that someone within the hotel will receive a notification that the fire alarm has been disabled.
They would most likely come visit your room and potentially bust you in the middle of partaking in your ganja. And even if you had not started smoking yet, they might determine that you intentionally disabled the fire alarm and could kick you out of the hotel, likely with no refund.
Some guests resort to less risky options like covering the alarm up with a sock, shower cap, etc. The problem with doing this is that you might forget that you covered up the fire alarm and that could potentially get you caught or worse: cause the fire alarm to not detect a real emergency.
If any damage or injury can be traced back to you tampering with the fire alarm, you could be liable so this is something you don’t want to risk.
The other issue is with smoking in a hotel room is that you could leave a lingering scent in the hotel room.
Because the scent of burning flower is so strong, it’s really easy to get caught smoking weed in a hotel.
Even if you were smoking in the bathroom with a steam shower running (which is a waste of water/energy), hotel housekeeping could enter your room after you leave and detect the smell if you didn’t time things right.
Some hotels will charge you a pretty expensive cleaning fee of a couple of hundred dollars if you leave behind such a strong odor.
Also, marijuana can have an extremely potent scent that could easily escape your hotel room into the hallway and be detected, even when you are blowing your smoke out the window.
Many guests would find the scent offensive and would be unhappy about being forced to smell it. Hotels don’t want to make guests unhappy and so they would not hesitate to ask you to leave for the sake of other guests.
Take-a-way: A lot of hotels do not allow any type of smoking in hotel rooms. Trying to get around these rules by tampering with fire alarms could get you kicked out the hotel or in legal trouble. Also, strong odors from smoking weed in a hotel room can be easily detected.
Vaping has exploded in popularity over the past few years and so it’s no surprise that many people will resort to vaping in a hotel room.
Most hotels I’ve seen only explicitly mention a ban on smoking and not vaping. But if you were to inquire with the front desk, I would imagine that many hotels would lump vaping in with smoking and therefore not allow vaping.
In terms of marijuana, some vaping mechanisms will not produce any “marijuana scent” which makes them hard to detect.
But contrary to what many people believe, you can set off fire alarms when vaping.
Someone vaping cannabis is probably not going to be hitting the vape as much as someone vaping nicotine. So unless you are on Snoop Dogg’s level, the cloud from a marijuana vape may not be a major concern.
Still, if you are vaping in a hotel room close to a fire alarm there is a risk that you could set it off.
Also, be aware that laws that prohibit smoking in hotel rooms likely will also include vaping.
Related: TSA Rules for Vapes and e-Cigarettes
Take-a-way: While vaping may not be explicitly banned at hotels, some properties will consider vaping to be the same as smoking. In addition, vaping can set off fire alarms in some instances so it is best to use caution when deciding to vape marijuana in a hotel room.
Medical marijuana and hotels
If you have a medical marijuana license, things are a bit complicated.
In the best case scenario, you would be allowed to smoke marijuana in any “smoking room” without issue.
But some hotels worry about things like guests being disturbed by the smell of marijuana or even calling the police about the marijuana use.
So to avoid any issues and to get clarification on what exactly is permitted, I would call ahead of time and inquire with the hotel about what you will be allowed to do as a medical marijuana cardholder.
If you are staying in a state that has legalized medical marijuana, you stand a higher chance of being allowed to consume it in your room. But if you are traveling to a state that does not recognize medical marijuana they probably will not allow you to use it at all.
CBD is another interesting substance.
CBD is the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana so consuming it does not get you “high” (although some people have reported alteration of some type when consuming it).
Some states that outlaw THC will allow you to carry around the CBD with no problem. Other states may require you to have some sort of medical condition in order to have CBD (which is pretty insane in my opinion).
A lot of times CBD is consumed in a tincture, oil, or some type of cream or edible and none of those should present issues to a hotel since they are discreetly consumed. If you are smoking CBD or vaping it then you will need to be conscious about the smoking policies mentioned above.
Take-a-way: Medical marijuana can still be a bit of a gray area so it is best to contact the hotel ahead of time and inquire about what is acceptable if you plan on smoking medical marijuana. Consuming CBD is usually less of an issue but you should still be aware of laws or policies that apply.
420 friendly hotels
A lot of marijuana fans will be happy to find out that hotels are starting to jump on the 420 bandwagon.
There’s actually a movement of “420 friendly” hotels which are hotels that cater to people who want to enjoy cannabis while traveling.
These hotels, which include some pretty high-end hotels like the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, make it easy for you to consume cannabis by offering edibles, vapes, etc.
You may not be able to smoke in the hotel rooms but some of the hotels may have designated areas with better filtration systems and allow smoking.
At the very least, you will find it easier and more comfortable to consume your marijuana at the hotel while relaxing in amenities like rooftop pools and possibly partaking in THC-infused culinary events.
Some of these hotels like the Clarendon Hotel and Spa in downtown Phoenix will also help you make your way to and from a dispensary.
Smoking weed in hotels FAQ
Yes, a hotel can kick you out of the hotel for smoking weed. If there are laws against smoking or possessing cannabis, you could also get into legal trouble.
Some hotels may allow you to smoke weed if you have a medical marijuana license but other hotels may ban all smoking.
Yes, if you are vaping close enough to the fire alarm, vapor from marijuana can trigger the alarm.
No, disabling a hotel room fire alarm is not a good idea and some hotels even have networks that allow them to detect when a guest has disabled a fire alarm.
CBD is legal in many states and is generally not an issue in hotel rooms unless you are smoking or vaping it.
Yes, there is a growing trend of hotels that cater to people who want to consume cannabis while staying at their hotels.
Smoking weed in a hotel room can be tricky because it could be against the law or at least against the policy of the hotel. With that said, there are some instances where you might be allowed to smoke in your room and there are even some hotels that encourage cannabis consumption.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.