In 1782, the idyllic spots along the borderland between New Hampshire and southwestern Maine were settled and became what is now modern-day Cornish, Maine.
Flanked by the Saco River and situated in easy day-trip distance from both Sebago Lake in Maine to the east and the New Hampshire lakes region to the west, the historic village of Cornish has now chalked up an entirely new reason to put this getaway atop your road trip roster of options.
The reason: It’s now home to one of the first “bud and breakfast” cannabis tourism inns and hotels on the East Coast. Welcome to the Laughing Grass Inn.
Don’t expect some startup-spirited, tech-hotel revolution capitalizing on the nascent legal weed scene in America. Instead imagine 16 rooms overloaded with beautiful country decor and original structural beauty to behold in the 200-year-old inn, which has been giving travelers and patrons a plum place to lay their heads in the foothills of the White Mountains since the 1820s. Now, thanks to a new direction in ownership and a desire to see if the grounds are yet fertile enough to anchor an entire hotel business on the backs of the East Coast recreational cannabis craze in its current form, Laughing Grass Inn project founder Trinity Madison is ready to show people where this silo of the hospitality and travel industry could go in New England.
As a trial run, there are all-inclusive packages available for stays in August and September. But as its name and entire brand ethos suggests, you are in capable hands. Each morning guests are treated to a fresh-made cannabis-infused breakfast with the strength and dosing milligrams set to your preference and comfort, as well as a classic wake-and-bake bowl of killer local top-shelf bud to get your day going.
“We want people to enjoy their experience,” says Madison, referring to the process of patrons controlling how strong any of the infused foods, concentrates, tinctures, and other cannabis delivery formats will be for them. “We make it easy to choose, with a beginner dosage at 20 mg, experienced 50 mg, and an option for pros and regular users at 100 mg. You let us know the night before how strong you want your breakfast and what you’d like to eat, and we take care of the rest.”
For those who want to learn about the cooking process, Madison says they hold regular cannabis culinary lessons and have educational speakers, cannabis activists, and advocates, as well as thought leaders and experts discussing heavier subjects like properly using cannabis for children’s therapies.
In addition to the infusions provided, after a day of mulling around at the vintage shops and farms in the area or just an afternoon spent out in the abundance of natural wonder all around (Sebago Lake is only 14 miles away, and the Ossipee and Saco Rivers coalesce on the borders of town to the north), you’ll be treated to a 420 happy hour back at the inn with house-made hors d’oeuvres and more flower-based delights. Also: pre-rolls, novel smoking apparati (think ice luge bongs, a house Volcano vaporizer circulating all day, and more than ample communal joints and blunts going outside), and other canna-culture novelties. If you’re not already smiling by now, you’re dead inside and joy has become an alien emotion.
The Laughing Grass has already held a soft open party and smokefest, and Madison says after a little legal gray zone blowback from the town, everything is all set for the trial run and many in the town are offering loads of support for the project. Some prohibitionists may try to spoil the stoned sunny days of the masses, but even if a wrench gets thrown into the mix, Madison says they won’t pull the plug.
“If it all goes well and the town allows us to stay permanently, we will launch the Laughing Grass Inn in full,” says Madison. “If Cornish says no, I have two other inns already inquiring about how to get involved, and I’ve had reps from Sebago and Standish and other towns saying they want us if Cornish doesn’t.”
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Dan is a freelance journalist and has written for publications including Vice, Esquire, the Daily Beast, Fast Company, Pacific Standard, MEL, Leafly, Thrillist, and DigBoston.