Pot Pairings Are Becoming a Hot Trend In The US

By May Wilkerson 04/04/16

As pot booms across the 50 states, food businesses are cashing in by offering diners marijuana-paired lunches, high teas, and even sushi.

Pot Pairings Are Becoming a Hot Trend In The US
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Wine pairings are so 20th century. These days, as more states legalize marijuana, “pot pairings” have popped up in places like Oregon and Washington, where various food businesses are cashing in on the pot boom by offering diners a culinary experience that also includes cannabis.

For example, Newsweek features one Oregonian duo, Ginger and Brigham Edwards, who started hosting monthly marijuana-themed brunches—aptly named “High Tea”—in their recently converted bed and breakfast in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range. 

The debut event, at $65 a person, drew a crowd of 29 guests. They were served platters of Scotch eggs, scones, brownies and cake, crackers with beef tartare. To drink, guests sipped tea that could be "spiked" with tinctures labeled "Medi Maté" and "Plain Jane." And to accompany the meal, of course, trays of organically grown, fresh ground marijuana were passed around.

For the final course, guests sipped Caravan Black Tea and smoked Kush Breath, a “slow-growing indica-dominant plant with a mutated growth structure.”

“Her buds are dense and doughy, with a sweet yet peppery aroma, which can linger on the palate for hours ... a great smoke for folks on the go all day and right into a relaxing evening.” Brigham urged marijuana amateurs to “take it slow,” adding, “this is probably some of the best cannabis I’ve ever seen and smoked.”

The business of combining pot with the dining experience is quietly sweeping the country. Last November, Portland, Ore. chef Leather Storrs helped launch an elite dining club called Kitchen Chronicles, serving “stoney snacks” to diners who also had their pick of loaded vape pens.

And earlier this month, HunnyMilk restaurant, also based in Portland, hosted a Wake and Bake multi-course brunch featuring cronuts and a tour bus stationed outside, where participants could get high without breaking the law that bans Oregonians from smoking pot in public. In Colorado, there are various food, wine and cannabis pairing tours, and one sushi restaurant offers suggested marijuana-food combinations.

The trend is not limited to states with recreational pot laws; it's also popped up in states that legalized cannabis for medical use, like California. In February, a group of medical marijuana card holders in San Francisco attended a five-course pot-and-food pairing at a private venue in the Mission District.

The "pot pairing" trend isn't going anywhere, anytime soon. Chefs across the country have been adding cannabis to the dining experience for a while now—and for good reason. "Wine tastes good and pairs well with food, [but] it doesn’t enhance your sense of taste or smell," Dave Bienenstock of Vice said in 2014. "Marijuana does that. It also has a great social aspect." 

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.