Let's Discuss Edible Cannibis........................


(Junior) #1

As my home state of New Jersey is one the brink of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, I was discussing the possibility of opening an edible cannibis bakery/eatery. The only problem with my plan is I have -0- knowledge or experience in anything cannibis food related.

So let’s hear it…I"m curious as to:

1.) Are there legal cannibis related eateries in your area? (good / bad / anything in between?)
2.) Do you have experience in making any edible cannibis? (if you are afraid or ashamed to admit it, just say you asked “a friend” for me…:wink::wink:)
3.) Recipes? Any favorites?
4.) What are the effects of eating it? Is it similar to the “high” of smoking it?
5.) Would you be willing to try it (assuming it’s legal wherever you are)
6.) Anything and everything related to it would be appreciated

C’mon everyone tell me about “your friends” (:wink::wink:) experiences with edible cannibis!


(John Hartley) #2

Cannibus?

Is that the common American spelling? In the UK, we have it as “cannabis”. You certainly need to get the spelling right if you’re going into business.

I have experience with edible marijuana (smoked it, literally, two or three times in my youth) but it is common in the Netherlands in the “brown cafes”, where it is also OK to smoke, as well as eat. A friend (genuinely), told me that it gets baked into cakes.


(Junior) #3

Nope, I frequently (especially when at work) type my post in a word document and copy paste it here. I do not double check spell check, which obviously I guess I should. Don’t know why it changed that, but I corrected it, thank you. lol (show’s you how much I know and how much I pay attention)


#4
  1. I’m in NY, so none that I know of (yet). Cannabis is legal for medical use and there is a dispensary downtown, but as far as I know they don’t sell edibles, just oils, sprays, vapes, etc. Medical prescriptions in NY are still only available for a very limited range of ailments, but it looks like we may soon follow in NJ’s footsteps. :slight_smile:

  2. I have quite a bit of experience in cooking with cannabis.

  3. No specific recipes to share. Once you have “bloomed” the cannabis to release the THC in the fat of your choice, that fat can be used in anything from brownies to beurre blanc. It does have a flavor of its own, though, which (IMO) is why brownies and other goods containing chocolate are so popular - chocolate does a good job of covering up the taste of the herb. I don’t eat desserts much, though, so I typically use the oil to make a strongly flavored stir fry or curry - anything with an assertive sauce that will disguise the weed flavor.

  4. Eating it is NOTHING like smoking it. The effects are delayed, MUCH longer lasting and MUCH more difficult to predict. You will want to exercise caution with edibles especially if you don’t have any way of knowing how much weed was used in their preparation. Start with a small amount and wait at least an hour before eating more. Have plenty of non-weed snacks on hand so you don’t eat more weed when you get the munchies.

  5. I think the answer to this one is pretty obvious from my previous answers. :grin:

  6. Don’t bother using high-quality, expensive weed when you cook it!


(Junior) #5

Well based on your answer to #4 it seems as if there could be a large liability associated with having a bakery or eatery based on cannibis. How do you regulate the amount? Not being sarcastic I just assumed you “add a teaspoon of weed” was going to be how it was used. So you don’t actually eat the plant?


(Junior) #6

So in the Netherlands eateries are common for marijuana? Interesting, I wonder if there is a way to control the dose as @biondanonima indicates can be an issue, at least with home preparation.


#7

FINALLY a topic I actually know something about! HAHA DISCLAIMER - all of this knowledge was obtained in states where it is fully legal…

  1. No, in NJ but this is a frequent topic of convo in our house.
  2. No, see above. I did have a friend (actually friend. I never had access to this kind of volume) but he did make edible cookies and treats occasionally savory items. As @biondanonima you need fat. So butter or oil is your friend in this situation.
  3. I suggest baked items, candies, things like that. I have had pasta with mushrooms in a butter sauce that was delicious.
  4. More of a body experience but again it is difficult to gauge how much THC is in something if it is homemade. On packaged goods I have seen, they include the amount of THC in a particular product. You can then tell how potent it will be. Totally different feeling than smoking. While in Colorado last, we bought edible gummies which were nice, light and excellent. I feel most people don’t want to be incapacitated and unable to go about their day.
  5. Yes, NJ needs to just get their act together. I imagine the tax benefit of this could be enormous and help fix some of the outrageous debt, crappy roads and improve infrastructure.
  6. There is a emerging market of CBD products out there. My husband just had CBD infused coffee the other day. Basically CBD won’t get you high but has some of the benefits. He said it wasn’t good for work (too relaxing, but would be nice for other times). If you aren’t interested in trying the drug itself, you may want to try that so you can semi-start to see what you are working with. The legality of the whole enterprise aside, I think this could be an exciting space especially in NJ.

If you are looking for a partner, let me know!


(Junior) #8

A friend of mine is a land lord and he had a vacancy in a space that was previously occupied by a bakery. He showed me the space as a potential restaurant location but I passed, though it got me thinking. I was thinking that opening a bakery that specialized in CBD products (because I see this for sale in my super market as an oil taken orally) could be a great idea to get a jump start on the legalization. Then I realized I don’t know how to bake, I don’t know squat about cannibis AND even once it’s legal you would still need a state license to serve it to the public, like a liquor license. So the viability of getting a “leg up” on competition wasn’t really a good game plan.

It did just get me thinking about it in general. I thought I had read of cannibis based restaurant(s) somewhere in the country so this is the base of my research into this. Too soon to be thinking about taking on partners!! lol Though I will keep you in mind if this does move any further.


#9

HA! I love the detailed look into the thought process that led you here.

The legal piece of it seems like it will be intense. I am hoping that NJ can be smarter about pieces of this than some other states early on. For example, banks wouldn’t take these dispensaries on as clients (deemed too high risk) so everyone is forced to work in cash which has plenty of issues.

There is a show on Vice (or Viceland?) that talks about cooking with it which is interesting. It expands way beyond cookies and cake and does full meals with drink pairings.


#10

To my knowledge, not even California will let restaurants cook with weed. They are probably the one of the most liberal states with weed laws.

I don’t foresee any restaurants or “coffee” shops in NJ for a long time…a real long time.


(Junior) #11

I’ve been an “entrepreneur” (for lack of a better term) my entire life. If someone brings a business opportunity to me, even if I 'm not initially interested, I try to take a look at what money making potential I think the venture can produce. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t…


(Junior) #12

I could have sworn I read about a cannibis restaurant somewhere in the US!!! Dammit!!!


#13

I have been around when people I know as long time smokers have tried chocolate and other times candy of some sort. Every time the person has commented to me later that they got much more stoned than they intended (in a bad way). I think it is that long delay leading them to eat too much. Other than using it in a public place I don’t see a benefit. I guess long lasting would be nice but the unpredictability has prevented me from trying it.

It has been legal where I live for several years now. Edibles are available at the stores but I don’t know of any bakeries or restaurants that make cannabis laced food and I doubt I would be interested in one. If I were going to try edibles it would be candy. I have seen that vice show and do not get the appeal of putting much effort in cooking with it beyond candy for people who don’t want to smoke it. I think at first people will be excited by it but I suspect the novelty would ware off quickly but what do I know. I thought the trend of waiting in long lines for mediocre food would pass quickly.


#14

There are a couple of “cooking shows” on TV that deal with cannabis - Bong Appetite is the one that comes to mind but I think Netflix has one too. (horrible name for a show IMHO). I haven’t watched any of them but I know they are out there.

I will be surprised if restaurants start dealing in this (permitting issues aside, while legal it is still highly regulated by state/city) because of the inconsistency in potency, even for edibles in pot shops. But someone will do it eventually, so could be interesting to look into it.


#15

Ah yes, Bong Appetite. That’s the one. Such a dumb name.


(Andrea) #16

Laws are going to vary by state so lawyer up and make sure you read all the fine print. And laws change as the industry grows and responds to interest groups so keep that lawyer nearby.

Here In WA, we do have legal cannabis and infused edibles but both are only sold in licensed stores where they check ID at the door. So no bakeries or cafes where you can hang out and eat a THC muffin with a CBD latte. Public consumption is illegal (but mostly ignored).

Since I’ve been in pastry and chocolate for my career, a lot of people asked me if I was going to do edibles when we first legalized - I thought it sounded like too many extra hoops to jump through. Now I’m working one day a week with a startup cannabis candy company and my suspicions are confirmed. All the challenges of a food business plus a bunch of extra rules. That doesn’t mean there’s not money to be made, but …

First all the usual challenges of finding kitchen space and skilled labor. Areas where production is allowed are limited to pockets at least 1000’ away from schools, parks, and other places children may congregate. A company using THC can’t share a kitchen with a company who isn’t, and you have to have lockable doors in between rooms and cameras at every angle.

Next, each piece has to be sealed in 4 mil plastic. We have a flow wrap machine, it’s pretty fast when you get into a groove but still an extra step, extra cost per piece, and a several thousand dollar machine. And sometimes it goes off kilter and crushes a bunch of pieces. Then pack those into boxes, which isn’t that a big deal but for me, going from restaurants to (my own) packaged candy 5 years ago, the time and expense of packaging was a surprise. 25% food cost isn’t good enough anymore. Now add the plastic, the box, labor on both, and the fact that you can only sell wholesale.

And rules can change. Recently the LCB decided against allowing gummy/jellies, anything decorated or brightly colored, and candy with sprinkles. This put a few companies out of business because they were only making jellies. (This is supposedly to minimize appeal to children, as a child I never turned up my nose at chocolate that was merely brown, but whatever. I think it’s up to parents to keep their edibles well hidden or locked up along with their liquor, guns, prescription meds, porn, and household poisons).

Here, the THC is supposed to be “thoroughly intermixed”, meaning not just putting a drop of oil somewhere on a cookie and calling it good. Every gram also has to be tracked and accounted for. There are always little edges, or maybe you drop a piece. I’m still not clear on how we account for the waste, but at some point ‘wasted’ product gets chopped up and mixed with dirt. It seems like a constant challenge with how many pieces we were supposed to get out of a batch, how many we actually got, and how they tested. Samples are also regulated, you can only give employees or prospective buyers so much per month. No ‘I Love Lucy’ shoving candy into your mouth while flow-wrapping scenes allowed - they can check your camera footage any time.

But the biggest challenge I see with the company I’m working for is getting the dosing perfect every time. We’re doing everything by hand and I love handmade but I just don’t think we’re getting every piece close enough to identical. Every batch has to be tested (at additional $$) , and you’re supposed to pick a random sample for testing. There are expensive machines that can help, of course. But say you want to make chocolate chip cookies, you’d have to make sure they each had exactly x grams of medicated dough and x grams of chocolate chips, two chips too many on the same size cookie could throw your dosing off.

So if you can think of a product that’s shelf stable and easy to make and pack in as few steps as possible but most of all get consistent accurate dosing, keep exploring. There is a fair amount of bad candy out there, maybe a lot of people don’t care and just want to get high. We’re hoping there are people who want candy actually worth eating that also gets you high.


#17

Babette clearly knows much more about the process from a commercial cooking/candy-making standpoint than I do - all of my experience is cooking at home with actual bud, not THC (or CBD) oils. The oils have a measurable and specific THC (or CBD) content, which would obviously make it much easier to get a consistent and reliable amount of THC in each serving of food (although as Babette mentioned, 100% accuracy is still a challenge).

For the home cook who is actually using weed and not oil, it is impossible to know how much THC is going into your baked goods. You can make a semi-educated guess by smoking a bit of it first and gauging its strength that way, but it is still nothing more than a guess. Generally speaking I would say a bowl’s worth (which is more or less enough to get a casual/not-everyday user stoned but not TOO stoned when smoking) per serving of food is a good place to start, depending upon the quality of the weed.


#18

Yes, this is the danger with eating it. The main benefit to eating it is not having to inhale smoke (as a singer with lots of singer friends, this is important), but now that there are all sorts of vapes and other “cleaner” ways of doing it, inhaling smoke isn’t such a problem. The long-lasting effects of eating it can be great if you have ingested just the right amount, but horrible if you have had too much - there is a point where you just feel like crap and want NOT to be stoned anymore, but you know you are in for the long haul as it makes its way through your digestive system.


(Andrea) #19

I personally haven’t handled the straight THC but it we buy it already extracted as a pure oil then mix that with other fat to dilute it and dose the products. Here, you can’t extract your own, bake it and sell it, those are all different licenses, but in Oregon I think you can do all three or even have to.

Even in my own business I struggle to get exactly the same sized pieces by hand, and I’m obsessive about it. I guess some stores are willing to take things a little over or under but some aren’t. And you want consistency for the consumer, too. So many people have had bad experiences with edibles!


#20

As far as I know, this is the only way it is legally available in NY right now. The dispensary near us sells oil, powder, vapes, etc., but they are all made from extractions (done by a separate company as far as I know). Interesting to see how much the laws vary state to state, even between states where recreational use is legal.