In four short months, California will legalize marijuana for recreational use, and statewide the industry is preparing. As brands and entrepreneurs strive to position themselves before the switch, new markets start to take shape.
When the light goes green in California at the end of this year, we will be presented with a new selection of events designed for socially acceptable weed consumption. We can expect everything from outdoor festivals to smoke sesh house parties. I am especially anticipating more events like one I recently attended—a seven-course dinner paired with locally grown flower.
This particular event was thrown by the Cannabis Supper Club, which is dedicated to creating a true Californian farm-to-table event by pairing local food and flower, under the guidance of extraordinary chefs and master growers. Marc Leibel, who created the club and served as our gracious host, enlisted Chef Chris Binotto and the staff of WonderBrett to provide an evening of eating and smoking that challenged the idea of what a dinner party can be.
In a Santa Monica loft apartment a few blocks from the beach, a large living room space was outfitted with long tables set for 20 guests. The tables were decorated in a style reminiscent of any high-end dinner party, except for the small pieces of grey slate to the right of each place setting proudly displaying a brand new pipe, a lighter and five small jars of marijuana. Topping each jar was a graphic indicating which WonderBrett strain was inside.
To put it simply, the whole evening felt like a dream. On the second floor, jazz trio C-Money and The Players Inc. were playing in a room where I also found Daron, the WonderBrett representative who paired specific strains of marijuana with each course of our dinner. For hors d’oeuvres he had a small table set up with freshly packed pipes, amuse-bouches, and a selection of wines. To capture the flavors of each element, we were instructed to take a long hit of WonderBrett’s Orange Banana strain, then a nibble of pieces of kiwi and mango topped with raw sugar, and end with a sip of Chardonnay from Sonoma.
If that wasn’t dreamy enough, there was more to experience outside on the roof deck. Amy, the owner of Mary Jane Juice Co., was offering mimosas made with her signature CBD-infused juice. Beside her, one of the co-founders of WonderBrett, Cameron, was offering up dabs of potent product. And on couches a few feet away, a group of ganjapreneurs were discussing their latest endeavors over a kief-rolled joint provided by Ryan of Speakeasy 710.
We were ushered back downstairs past a display of smokable glass work presented by Func.Art Gallery and instructed to take our seats as dinner began.
Chef Binotto introduced each of the seven courses, including dishes like Shigoku oysters with a champagne granita and champagne foam, Spanish chorizo and Manila clams topped with smoked fennel, and flank steak resting on tempura fried fingerling potatoes that put all other fried starches to shame. Before each course, Daron from WonderBrett explained to the guests which strain we would be smoking and how he felt they complimented each dish.
The rules were loose—we were encouraged to smoke as much or as little as we liked. Almost no one drank alcohol, but the waiters were quick to keep our water glasses full between the elegant delivery of the food. Throughout the evening the most entrepreneurial guests, who had donated products for the gift bags that we all took home, stood up and introduced themselves while telling us all a little about their particular brand. There was a wide array of products represented, including some intended for animals, like Bailey’s CBD pet supplements.
As the dinner purred to an end, we smoked our last bowls of delicious bud while enjoying spoonfuls of mango panna cotta prepared by Chef Binotto. What will stick with me is the level of sophistication the event maintained throughout. It was an evening of undeniably great food, flower and conversation. Cheers to 2018, and many more events like this one!
The Cannabis Supper Club’s next event will be held in Hollywood in mid-October. Find more information and sign up for their email list at cannabissupperclub.com.