Coming Soon to a Menu Near You: Marijuana

Cannabis continues its movement into the mainstream. In 2019, expect that to include menu items at a restaurant near you. That is if you live in a state where recreational marijuana use is legal.

In its report on 2019 trends for restaurants, international restaurant consultants Baum and Whiteman listed dishes featuring marijuana as one of the top 12 trends of the coming year.

Under the headline “The Inevitable Mainstreaming of Marijuana,” the consulting agency reported that restaurants are “joining the fun” started by beverage brands such as Constellation Brands and Heineken that are moving into marijuana-infused drinks.

Marijuana On The Menu

The moves by large companies into the marijuana-infused beverage market is driven in part by the fact that beer and soda face a “shaky future” because of a “massive consumer shift to hemp and marijuana drinkables,” the Baum and Whiteman report stated.

So, what does that mean for the cannabis curious? In addition to the ability to buy cannabis beverages at the store, they also can order marijuana dishes at local restaurants.

The report noted that most of these menu items are using CBD, the chemical ingredient in marijuana that does not cause the high. Many advocate CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) for its reputed pain management properties. It’s also used by some to treat anxiety and even depression.

Early Examples

Some restaurants have gotten ahead of the game, introducing marijuana-infused dishes onto their menus. Some examples include:

  • Los Angeles restaurant Spring, which has a power lunch with three CBD-sprinkled courses
  • The Green Goddess Cafe in Stowe, Vermont, an organic eatery that offers latte infused with CBD oil and CBD-infused tonic juices
  • Panacea in Henderson, Nevada, which offers CBD-infused pancake syrup
  • Vegan café Harlow in Portland, Oregon, which adds CBD to its smoothies for an extra $3
  • Juice Crafters in Los Angeles sells CBD teas
  • By Chloe, a New York City vegan chain, sells Mary Jane ice cream cake with CBD-infused frosting

The report said early adopters to this trend among consumers are primarily Millennials, vegans, vegetarians, the wellness crowd and “Wall Streeters.”

“The rest of us will follow,” the report stated.

Do Try This at Home

Of course, many among the cannabis curious would rather take a culinary adventure of their own. If that’s the case, consider picking up the recently released “Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed.” The cookbook features recipes from the “Bong Appetit” show on Viceland.

Featured menu recipes include marijuana-infused butter-basted chicken, chimichurri and brownie sundaes. The book is billed as “the ‘Joy of Cooking’ for a new generation.”

Another notable cannabis cookbook is “Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking With Cannabis” by chefs Melissa Parks and Laurie Wolf. Wolf has been called the “Martha Stewart of Marijuana Edibles” by the New Yorker.

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