Less than two years after California legalized recreational marijuana, cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, is gaining widespread acceptance as a therapeutic substance used to promote relaxation, relieve pain and reduce tension. Where else but San Francisco to take it mainstream?
Randy Pierce, director of the Remède Spa at the St. Regis San Francisco, a 269-room luxury hotel in a South of Market (SoMa) skyscraper, introduced CBD products, co-branded with Denver-based Mary’s Nutritionals, in January 2019. He has found a ready audience with curious first-timers, spa-savvy regulars and, now, trend-watching meeting planners.
“This has been a great success as an amenity option for the hotel’s meeting planners to offer in the bags attendees receive upon registration,” Pierce says. “Additionally, when offering it in the honor bar, the tincture and bath balls have been quite popular with St. Regis business travelers.”
People are also more willing to try new things while traveling or away from home and outside their everyday routine, notes Pierce, who says the CBD element was introduced to him by colleagues in Colorado, where cannabis products have been legal for years longer than in California. “And I thought … Colorado? San Francisco? Very similar markets. I sourced some CBD massage oil from their distributor and the therapists gave me feedback that their guests were walking out feeling like they are were on cloud nine.”
Pierce was skeptical at first. “I’ve been around the block and seen every kind of snake oil there is,” he says. But when the spa began offering a “Love and Haight” CBD massage it soon became one of the most popular items on the treatment menu. Now the spa’s retail offerings include transdermal patches, gel pens and extracts in addition to tinctures, bath balls and massage oils.
While these products won’t get you high, they might contribute to an elevated mood, as will the meeting venues at the St. Regis, which have floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic city views. The total meeting space is 15,000 square feet.