What Could Edibles Mean for Canadian Restaurants?

What could edibles mean for Canadian restaurants now that legalization is closer than ever? Chefs have been weighing in.
What Could Edibles Mean for Canadian Restaurants?
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Canada’s about to have recreational weed, but what could edibles mean for Canadian restaurants? Will patrons be able to see cannabis-infused food on the menus, or will there be stricter regulations?

Edibles In Restaurants?

People want to eat marijuana, says one food writer, regardless of the fact that it doesn’t taste fabulous and, in its current form in some places, there’s no way to know how much THC, or anything for that matter, is in each bite.

The writer in question, Corey Mintz, calls the edibles intoxication an “all-you-can-worry anxiety buffet.” We’ve all eaten there.

Canada’s Cannabis Bill allows for the sale of edibles one year after weed is fully legalized in July 2018. According to reports and surveys, more than half of the 68 percent of Canadians who support legalization are curious about edibles and would try them if they were available in restaurants.

And so, clever bakers and chefs are ready to rise to the challenge.

All over Canada, they are lining up their pots and pans to meet the incoming demand for high-quality, delicious edibles.

“I spend the vast majority of my time cooking with weed, developing various methods and recipes,” said Matt Salvesen, a well-known chef in Toronto. “I want to have the knowledge by the time it becomes legal badly enough to work on these methods in the privacy of my own home until then.”

We don’t know Chef Salveson personally. But we can say with almost absolute certainty that none of his friends ever miss a dinner party at his house.

Possible Issues

Canada is trying to deal with dosing and dosage constraints with proper certification and labeling. This is one area where booze and weed can’t be measured the same way.

For example, people who serve alcohol in Canada require a certain kind of training and qualification called the Smart Serve certification. It’s a program which educates them in managing their customers’ level of intoxication.

But how would that work in the case of edibles?

When you eat weed, rather than smoking or vaping it, the effects can take up to an hour (sometimes more) to set in. Given this, how could a server or budtender know when to cut someone off?

The other issue is tolerance. Cannabis and alcohol have very different effects. Who is to say when someone else is “too” stoned?

There are also possible zoning issues.

Naturally, with cannabis legalization, there will be a plethora of regulations to go along with it. Canada’s current position of not allowing marijuana and alcohol to be sold in the same retail space suggests that the government will demand the same of restaurants.

“I would imagine any private rollout into a restaurant space would be extraordinarily cost-prohibitive,” said another chef, “and likely not able to have alcohol in the same space.”

If restaurants are allowed to sell cannabis-infused foods, they’ll probably have to give up serving alcohol. And, even if they could have edibles on the menu, that might cut into drinks sales.

Final Hit: What Could Edibles Mean for Canadian Restaurants?

Putting edibles on the menu may pose more challenges than one might think. And so, the question remains: what could edibles mean for Canadian restaurants? Can people have their weed cake and eat it, too? Or will they find that with so many regulations, selling edibles in restaurants won’t be worth it? In this age of spreading legalization, anything is possible. We’ll be following Canada’s journey closely.

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