COMING SOON: A cannabis restaurant near you?

Maysoon El-Ahmad on Jul 19, 2019

WHAT’S GOING ON

With cannabis culture becoming more normalized in countries legalising the drug, the food industry is seizing the opportunity with cannabis restaurants and cannabis-infused menus popping up for guests to enjoy. The only catch…with Australia yet to legalise the drug, you’ll have to travel to parts of the USA to experience this emerging culinary experience.

In Hollywood, Lowell Herb Co an organic cannabis farm is set to open one of the city’s first cannabis restaurants which will have THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) or CBD (the non-intoxicating compound in cannabis) infused into every dish, from savoury to sweet.

The James Hotel in New York recently introduced a high-end CBD-infused menu curated by cannabis chef Andrea Drummer, along with a range of treats and beauty products.

Mota (Spanish slang for weed), has just opened a Cannabis-friendly private social club in downtown Los Angeles, complete with a spa, restaurant, coffee bar and garden lounge.

Last month US fast-food restaurant Carl’s Jr. became the first major US fast-food chain to introduce cannabis (CBD)-infused burgers for one day in the state of Colorado. According to reports, the burgers were so popular that they sold out within hours.

The UK’s first cannabis restaurant ‘Canna Kitchen’ opened in Brighton in December last year specialising in vegetarian and vegan food infused with (CBD). The fanfare, however, didn’t last long with the restaurant being forced to close down earlier in May after a raid which saw police seize a substantial amount of cannabis from the premises.

To complement this growing food market, we are also seeing the rise of cannabis cooking shows.

Viceland’s “Bong Appétit” was said to be the most successful of the new subgenre of the show.

Netflix has also featured a number of Cannabis cooking shows including ‘Cooking on High’, the first-ever competitive cannabis cooking show where chefs prepare marijuana-infused dishes for a panel of celebrity judges.

Viceland’s “Bong Appétit” was said to be the most successful of the new subgenre of the show.

GROWTH MANTRA’S PREDICTION

  • The food service industry will look to capitalise on the cannabis market as the drug becomes legalised in more countries. New Zealand is just one of those countries as it plans to hold a referendum next year on legalising the recreational use of Cannabis.
  • We expect to see growth in the number of chefs specialising in Cannabis cooking which is likely to be supported by the establishment of new cannabis culinary schools around the world.
  • With a number of successful cannabis cookbooks already hitting our bookstores, we expect this to be a growing area – conducting a ‘Cannabis Cookbook’ search in the Australian Amazon store today already returns over 400 books to choose from.
  • One of the biggest issues we expect to emerge will be around liability. What happens if a customer overindulges and then gets behind the wheel of a car? Who is held responsible? Will the same rules of over-serving alcohol apply to restaurant owners? With no equivalent Breathalyzer to gauge marijuana intoxication levels, this could become a contentious and controversial space for both lawmakers and restaurants alike.
Growth Mantra
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