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Sensi Cafe, a coffeeshop in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 2004

There are various intersections of cannabis and the restaurant industry.

Cannabis culture

Cannabis-themed restaurants

Among cannabis-themed restaurants is the fast food chain Cheba Hut, which is named after the 1980s song about marijuana "Cheeba Cheeba".[1][2] The Joint opened in Sanford, Florida, in 2023.[3]

Marketing and April 20 ("420") promotions

Some restaurant chains have "nodded" to cannabis consumers on social media, including Chipotle Mexican Grill and Denny's.[4] Notable chains that have offered specials on April 20, a date with significance in cannabis culture ("420"), include:

In New Mexico, a McDonald's franchise placed a billboard with the text, "Usually, when you roll something this good, it's illegal!" The parent company removed the ad and said in a statement, "this local franchise's billboard does not meet our standards".[4]

On-site consumption

A coffeeshop in Amsterdam; a sign reads, "Here you can smoke and drink!"

Coffeeshops are establishments in the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities.

In Portland, Oregon, the World Famous Cannabis Cafe operated between 2009 and 2016.

Cannabis-infused menu offerings

In 2023, CBD CBN began serving infused food and drinks in Edmonton, Alberta.[12]

United States

In 2018, USA Today said more restaurants in the U.S. were offering menus with cannabidiol (CBD)-infused options.[13] The trade publication Nation's Restaurant News said, "A few chefs in the 10 states, and the District of Columbia ... have thrown pot-laced dinners. Those meals are generally held offsite, and the edible marijuana products are provided by staff from licensed dispensaries, and guests have to add it themselves".[14] The same publication said in 2019, "Restaurants are taking their relationship with hemp to the next level by adding CBD or cannabinoids to dishes."[15]

The Original Cannabis Café, established as Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, California in late 2019, was the "first restaurant to legally sell pot for on-site consumption" in the United States.[16][17] Fried, a fast casual restaurant in St. Louis with CBD-infused sauces, opened in 2019.[18][19] In 2022, Nashville's first cannabis restaurant began offering "legal, hemp-derived THC-infused condiments, desserts and mocktails",[20] and the opening of Wild Montrose marked Houston's "first entirely legal cannabis-infused dining experience".[21]

In 2023, the American cannabis magazine High Times said, "there's a niche in the edibles industry that's continuing to grow: cannabis dining events. While there are still many limitations to cannabis infused dining, such as restrictive laws about public consumption or a lack of approved consumption lounges, many successful chef-led dining experiences are putting spotlight both on cannabis as an ingredient, as well as the consumer enjoying unique dishes infused with the herb."[22] In 2023, Hi Flora! opened as Minnesota's first THC restaurant,[23] and the San Antonio soul food restaurant MxiCanna Cafe gives patrons the option of adding drops of delta-8.[24] In Houston, Ninfa's debuted a cannabis-infused margarita on April 20, 2024.[25]

Industry impact

In 2014, Nation's Restaurant News said, "pot tourism is inevitable, and the marketing possibilities are substantial for restaurants targeting visitors with the munchies".[26]

In 2018, The Denver Post said higher wages in the cannabis industry were "eating into restaurant hiring pool".[27] In Maine, restaurants were reportedly losing workers to the cannabis industry in 2019.[28]

Legal status

In 2023, Montgomery County health officials warned restaurants in Maryland not to sell cannabis-infused drinks or food,[29] and Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill to legalize Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes in California.[30]

See also

References

  1. ^ Rangel, Nina. "Second cannabis-themed Cheba Hut sandwich shop opening in San Antonio". San Antonio Current. Archived from the original on 2023-11-12. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  2. ^ Tuttle, Brad (2012-05-03). "The Marijuana-Themed Chain Restaurant on a Smoking-Hot Roll". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Archived from the original on 2023-09-27. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  3. ^ Tolley, Patricia (March 6, 2023). "Hollerbach's German Restaurant CEO opens new cannabis-themed eatery in Sanford concert venue/bar". Orlando Business Journal. Archived from the original on 2023-03-07. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  4. ^ a b c "It's high time for restaurants to pay attention to marijuana". Nation's Restaurant News. 2018-02-01. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  5. ^ "Chains celebrate international cannabis day with 4/20 promotions". Nation's Restaurant News. 2023-04-19. Archived from the original on 2023-09-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  6. ^ "4/20 food deals: Cure your munchies with discounts on subs, cookies, wings, burgers and more". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  7. ^ a b Cobe, Patricia. "Cannabis is now legal in many states, but restaurants are still celebrating 4/20 with marijuana-themed mash-ups". Restaurant Business. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  8. ^ Encinas, Amaris. "Jimmy John's selling Deliciously Dope Dime Bag to celebrate 4/20. How much is it?". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21. The goodie bag will include a stacked sandwich, a brownie and a weed-rolling tray, all to celebrate the nation's highest holiday. They're available through April 21.
  9. ^ "Restaurant brands roll out 4/20 promotions". Nation's Restaurant News. 2024-04-16. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  10. ^ "For 4/20, restaurants add munchie food specials to the cannabis celebration". The Mercury News. 2024-04-20. Archived from the original on 2024-04-20. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  11. ^ "Dallas-based Wingstop debuts 'THC' hot wings for 420". Dallas News. 2024-04-18. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  12. ^ Snowdon, Wallis (October 21, 2023). "Cannabis for dinner? New Edmonton restaurant wants to serve pot-infused drinks and eats". CBC News. Archived from the original on April 21, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  13. ^ "These restaurants are serving CBD-infused food". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2023-05-01. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  14. ^ "Marijuana in restaurants: Pipe dream or soon-to-be reality?". Nation's Restaurant News. 2018-11-13. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  15. ^ "Mainstreaming marijuana culture". Nation's Restaurant News. 2019-04-16. Archived from the original on 2023-09-26. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  16. ^ "Andrea Drummer, chef of the Original Cannabis Café, is a pioneer in bringing marijuana to restaurants". Nation's Restaurant News. 2020-01-17. Archived from the original on 2021-11-28. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  17. ^ Holmes, Mona (2023-11-16). "LA's First Legal Cannabis Lounge Finally Reopens After Three-Year Pandemic Pause". Eater LA. Archived from the original on 2024-04-19. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  18. ^ Suen, Mabel (2019-05-01). "Fried, a Cannabis-Themed Fast-Casual Restaurant Serving CBD-Infused Sauces, Opens in St. Louis". Feast Magazine. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  19. ^ "Cannabis-themed restaurant to open this week". ksdk.com. 2019-04-09. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  20. ^ "Nashville's 1st cannabis restaurant set for Thursday opening". WREG.com. 2022-07-28. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  21. ^ "Houston's First Cannabis-Centric Dining Experience Opens in Montrose". Houstonia Magazine. Archived from the original on 2023-03-28. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  22. ^ Potter, Nicole (2023-11-20). "The Perfect Pairings: Cannabis Dining Is a Night To Remember". High Times. Archived from the original on 2024-01-18. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  23. ^ Kennedy, Audrey (July 19, 2023). "We tried it: "Minnesota's first THC restaurant," Hi Flora!". Axios Twin Cities. Archived from the original on April 21, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  24. ^ Stephen, Paul. "S.A. chef serves cannabis-infused dinners". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on 2023-08-30. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  25. ^ Garcia, Sonia. "Ninfa's debuting its first cannabis-infused margarita on 4/20". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2024-04-18. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  26. ^ "What legal marijuana could mean for you". Nation's Restaurant News. 2014-01-02. Archived from the original on 2021-08-01. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  27. ^ "Not enough cooks in the kitchen: Big wages paid by marijuana industry eating into restaurant hiring pool". The Denver Post. 2018-03-07. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  28. ^ Schroeder, Nick (2019-09-30). "Maine restaurants are losing workers to the cannabis industry". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  29. ^ Fitzgerald, Tom (2023-07-27). "Montgomery County health officials warn restaurants not to sell cannabis-infused food, drinks". FOX 5 DC. Archived from the original on 2023-09-28. Retrieved 2024-04-21.
  30. ^ "Bill to allow Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes in California goes up in smoke with Newsom veto". Los Angeles Times. 2023-10-10. Archived from the original on 2024-04-21. Retrieved 2024-04-21.

Further reading