A different Holiday Inn location (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)

Pot group calls for Holiday Inn boycott after one hotel files anti-cannabis suit

One of the largest cannabis policy groups in the U.S. is calling for a boycott on all Holiday Inns after one Colorado hotel filed a lawsuit on Feb. 19 meant to “end the sale of recreational marijuana in this state.”

As we reported yesterday, the Holiday Inn in ski-town Frisco, Colo., claims its business is already suffering because of a recreational marijuana shop it says is planning to open 75 yards from the hotel’s front door.

“Many of its guests are youth ski teams and families with children,” the lawsuit says. “Many parents and coaches will avoid booking with a hotel that is within a short walking distance and direct sight of a recreational marijuana store and grow facility.”

Now the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project is fighting back with a call to boycott all Holiday Inns and a petition encouraging the local hotel operator to withdraw the suit.

“A majority of Americans want to end marijuana prohibition,” MPP communications director Mason Tvert said in a statement, “and we expect many of them would prefer not to spend their money at businesses that are fighting to maintain it. We’re encouraging everyone who agrees marijuana should be legal for adults to think twice before spending their holidays at a Holiday Inn. If they won’t accept marijuana businesses, we shouldn’t give them our business.”

In the Marijuana Policy Project’s change.org petition, which saw more than 4,100 signatures in its first nine hours on Friday, the group says, “The lawsuit undermines a set of laws and regulations that were designed to make Colorado communities safer by ensuring quality-controlled marijuana is produced and sold by licensed, taxpaying businesses instead of drug cartels and criminals. …We hope you will also join us in boycotting Holiday Inn hotels until the lawsuit is withdrawn — and encourage your friends and relatives to do the same!”

Holiday Inn’s parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group, told The Cannabist on Friday it can’t comment on ongoing litigation — especially since the Frisco Holiday Inn is owned by another company.

“IHG, owner of the Holiday Inn brand, holds the comfort and well-being of our guests and employees as our top priority and concern,” the company told The Cannabist. “IHG-branded hotels are required to comply with their license agreement and all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules, regulations, and codes. The Holiday Inn Frisco, Colorado, hotel is an independently owned and operated hotel and the owners are free to express their views. We cannot comment on ongoing litigation involving a franchised property.”