Categories
Culture Restaurants

America’s First Cannabis Cafe is Now the World’s First Cannabis & Food Drive-Thru

The new norm is a phrase that’s been used ad nauseam lately, but has been pretty unavoidable. Yet, the concept of a new norm was something that fit nicely when America’s first ever cannabis cafe opened in West Hollywood, California last year. It was regarded then as a hope for a new norm where cannabis can be consumed in a restaurant setting.

Debuting back in the fall of 2019, what’s now known as OG Cannabis Cafe has had to recalibrate its operations even since the pandemic and shelter in place orders have turned the restaurant world upside down. While marijuana is deemed essential, the cafe had to close since it was deemed a restaurant and not a dispensary. But after working with the city of West Hollywood to find a safe way to continue operating, the OG Cannabis Cafe will now be re-opening as the world’s first cannabis and food drive-thru.

Launched today with daily hours of 12:00pm to 8:00pm, the OG Cannabis Cafe will be serving up menu items like Hot Chicken Tenders, Vegan Nachos, and Sugar Cereal Bread Pudding. As for the cannabis portion, they will be offering flower, concentrates, pre-rolls, vaporizers, edibles and accessories.

For deets on how to arrange and order delivery or pickup, check out their website.

Categories
Feel Good Science Sweets Technology What's New

New THC Gummy Is First With CBN, A Cannabis Compound That May Help With Sleeping

Always on the cutting edge of cannabis infused edibles, Kiva Confections has announced their latest creation, Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies. These new chewy delights continue Kiva’s canna-crusade by being the first to incorporate CBN. CBN stands for cannabinol. Different from CBD and THC, CBN is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is typically found in aged THC. Bursting with medicinal potential, research has revealed that the combination of THC and CBN benefit restlessness, counteracting the morning-after groggy feeling THC typically produces alone. 

The National Sleep Foundation reports that an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorder and intermittent sleep problems that can significantly diminish health, alertness and safety. With the new Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies, Kiva gumshoes leveraged their powers of deduction to create custom combinations of cannabinoids and plant-based terpenes that offer a uniquely relaxing mixture of THC and CBN. Each gummy uses 5mg of THC and 1mg of CBN with an added hint of chamomile and lavender oil that help support a healthy night’s rest. 

Suffice to say, we’ve come a long way from counting sheep. Rather than potentially risky medication, Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies presents a natural, yet sweet and chewy alternative to sleeplessness. Retailing at $18 each, Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies can be found at dispensaries throughout California.

Categories
Brand Cravings Products Science Sweets Technology

Kiva Confections Introduces Cannabis-Infused Hot Chocolate

Continuing their spirited foray into holiday inspired cannabis treats, Kiva Confections is now offering limited edition Hot Chocolate. Their latest invention uses the same fast-acting technology as the previously released Turkey Gravy which took Thanksgiving dinners to new heights. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Kiva’s fast-acting technology, it utilizes individually encapsulated molecules that allow for faster THC absorption than your typical edible. These molecules are isolated and small enough to be absorbed by our body’s endocannabinoid receptors. What this means in layman’s terms is that you can feel the effects of Kiva’s Hot Chocolate within a record 15 minutes. That’s almost 15-30 minutes faster than most edibles and allows for a more predictable cannabis experience. 

Kiva’s premium edibles are created with the goal of removing the unpredictable effects that usually accompany your typical garden variety edible. By focusing the window to 15 minutes, it offers first time users, or infrequent ones, to have more assurance in their experience. Kiva’s thoughtfulness combined with unique ideas like their new limited edition Hot Chocolate will undoubtedly add joy to your holiday high. Each pouch is infused with 5mg of THC and like traditional hot chocolate, comes in powdered form. You can find Kiva’s limited edition Hot Chocolate at dispensaries throughout California while supplies last.

Categories
News Products Science Technology What's New

KIVA Feeds Your Holiday Spirit With New Cannabis-Infused Turkey Gravy

The holidays are right around the corner and Kiva Confections have cooked up some cannabis-infused turkey gravy for your Thanksgiving grubdown. It’s a limited edition sauce you’d probably reserve for your Friendsgivings, unless your family is super cool like that. Besides the savory flavor choice, it reportedly only takes 2-15 minutes to feel the effects of Kiva’s latest invention. It’s roadrunner fast and sounds like the perfect topping for your Thanksgiving favorites. 

The fast-acting effects are achieved by using technology involving individually encapsulated molecules that transform cannabinoids. These isolated molecules are small enough to be absorbed directly into your body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors, part of the endocannabinoid system, are located throughout the body. They play a role in a range of physiological processes including mood, appetite, pain-sensation, and memory. With this technology, Kiva’s turkey gravy is fast-acting and said to offer the most bioavailable cannabinoids in edible form. Bioavailability in cannabis is the percentage of CBD that is actually absorbed into the bloodstream. You no longer have to wait 30 minutes or more like traditional cannabis-infused consumables. Fortunately, the packaging provides clear directions for first time users.

Not stopping at gravy, Kiva plans to use the new technology for an extended line of holiday-inspired products arriving this December. How does cannabis-infused hot cocoa sound? I’m willing to bet peppermint sticks is somewhere in there, or maybe cannabis-infused cotton candy that resembles Santa Claus’ beard. I’m making this up of course.

Time will soon reveal what Kiva Confections has in store for our holiday spirits. Until then, you can quell some curiosity by trying out their new turkey gravy. Southern California-based folks can get their hands on the sauce starting today at all Sweet Flower locations and in NorCal at Grassroots in San Francisco.

Categories
#foodbeast Culture Features Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants What's New

Eating The Stigma: Is The Cannabis Cafe The Next American Culinary Trend?

Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, has become America’s first brick and mortar cannabis cafe, recently opening its doors in West Hollywood, California (yes, before Colorado) and it reeks of exclusivity — but rightfully so. 

It goes without saying, but most will agree that cannabis and cuisine have an unspoken bond. Yet, it’s taken more than 100 years for America to legally bring them together. So, it’s easy to understand why potheads all over the world are collectively losing their shit that this place ACTUALLY exists.

Cannabis Cafe

However, since California voters passed Prop. 64, the Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) in 2016, the state has seemed eager to become a candidate to test this cafe-in-a-dispensary business model. Well, it’s here, but you’ll need to make a reservation if you’d like to get inside. 

For the thousands of guests already lucky enough to be shown into the wood decor filled dining area of Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, the cannabis smoke-filled interior is casual and inviting, buzzing with the scents of freshly brewed espresso, wafting clouds of cannabis, and food.

Set behind the bustling dining area, guests can opt to sit in a wide, open-air patio, shaded with small trees and shrubs, which maintains the same good-to-be-here feels you would expect to find inside one of Amsterdam’s culturally iconic coffee shops — except it’s all under a big blue California sky. 

 

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AMERICA’S FIRST CANNABIS CAFE 🌱☕️ // The doors to our nation’s first brick & mortar cannabis cafe have opened in West Hollywood, California. Here’s what I discovered while on assignment for @foodbeast during the @lowellfarms: A Cannabis Cafe’s opening week. • • Pro tip: Go for the food, stay for the high. • • 1️⃣ VEGAN BAHN MI Built on a nice firm, but chewy baguette like any typical bahn mi, but the protein is replaced with cauliflower! Much more ‘meaty’ than I anticipated! The addition of pickled onions & sliced jalapeños give it a nice crunch and a slight kick.🥵 • • 2️⃣ TAMARIND STICKY WINGS 🍗👀 Brushed with a very sweet, almost sour tamarind sauce & hit with sesame seeds. Pair this with something herbaceous strain like gelato for a nice sweet & sour vibe! 🤪🤯 • • 3️⃣ DOUBLE SMASH BURGER 🍔 Smash parties are a serious trend right now, and it’s clear Lowell Farm noticed. Also note, there’s two smash patties in that guy. Served with red onions, cheese, pickles & a house dressing. 🧀🥒 • • 4️⃣ DOUBLE FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH Two fried chicken patties, a house slaw, sliced tomatoes & pickles. • • 5️⃣ ROASTED MARSHMALLOW BROWNIE SUNDAE 👀🍨 Some torched ‘mallows sit atop a few scoops of @mcconnellsicecreams ice cream and a nice brownie base! A pair of brûléed banana slices also make an appearance! 🔥🍌 • • 6️⃣ HAND-ROLLED FUSILLI NOOLE JOINT // A few months ago, @710labs & @710labsflower announced a new line of hand rolled pre-rolled joints, that contain a gluten-free fusilli noodle at the end. Known as a crutch, the uncooked noodle serves as a mouth piece, which provides optimum airflow and acts as a levy that keeps debris from exiting. By far the best pre-roll I’ve ever smoked. • • 7️⃣ CANNABIS & COFFEE Possibly two of my favorite things have merged into one surreal experience. What a time to be alive. If there’s anything we can learn from this experience — it’s that it works. Hopefully, this model can provide a glimpse into a future that’s already trending toward more cannabis-forward dining experiences where guests can control their own adventure.

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How it works

Once seated, your experience begins. Guests are greeted by two different servers — one is a cannabis sommelier, or flower host, who can walk and talk you through the entire purchasing process, all done table side. Your food order is placed with another server, both arrive seamlessly. 

Here’s where the crux of Lowell Farm’s cafe model functions like a well-oiled machine. For anyone new to cannabis who has awkwardly waited in line at a dispensary — hat brim dipped low, eyes pointed downward, counting the seconds for the next available bud tender to help you — Lowell Cafe addresses it by working to become the antithesis of those interactions.

Cannabis Cafe

Be prepared for a truly surreal experience, with an expansive cannabis menu featuring packaged cannabis flower, pre-rolled joints, hashish, and even rentable smoking devices — Lowell Farms thought of everything to make every cannabis connoisseur’s dream a reality, without pushing the average user out of their comfort zone.  

While you can abstain from purchasing cannabis on location, guests can BYOC (bring your own cannabis) for a “tokage” fee of $20. Guests can also bring in their own smoking devices. 

Cannabis Cafe

While the cannabis is obviously a central focus of Lowell’s newest concept, don’t forget about the food — none of which contains cannabis. Sporting a modest cafe-style menu, Lowell features a mix of finger foods like Sticky Tamarind Wings, and shareable items like Animal Style corn dogs. From a personal standpoint, the Vegan Bahn Mi was a sleeper hit, which uses sliced cauliflower as the protein.  

Cannabis Cafe

For years, American culture shunned public cannabis use, thanks primarily to a government-driven, tax-payer funded war on drugs. While many cannabis users looked past the judging eyes of naysayers in public — Lowell Farms is allowing the underground to flourish in public view, and it doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight. 

What we learned

If there’s one thing that Lowell Farms has established, it is being able to create a functional model that goes against drug war propaganda, and establishes proof that the public has been willing to explore cannabis-focused brick & mortar concepts — despite decades of anti-cannabis rhetoric.

Categories
#foodbeast Adventures Culture Food Festivals Health Pop-Ups

KIVA Confections Elevates Cannabis Culture at Outside Lands Music Festival

Photo by Omari Allen

Recently San Francisco held their 11th annual Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park. Like any music festival, the bill featured a long list of performers across a wide range of genres. Aside from great music, the main draw to Outside Lands is its emphasis on food, wine, and art. San Francisco is known for its restaurant scene and with Napa Valley and Sonoma nearby, its wine scene is pretty poppin’ too. Each year Outside Lands invites visitors to feel like a San Franciscan for a weekend in what may be described as a love letter to the city. 

Another thing San Francisco is famous for is it’s cannabis culture. Haight-Ashbury, a district widely known as the birthplace of the hippie movement, has had a storied history with cannabis. The first well known cannabis dispensary, or “head shop,” was called Ron and Jay Thelin’s Psychedelic Shop, which opened in 1966 and grew, along with others, to become a major hub for the hippie movement. Steeped in counter-establishment ideals and widespread drug use, the movement was regarded by mainstream society as naive and idealistic. Popular terms used to describe hippies were tree-hugger, beatnik, granola, liberal, and the most notorious, stoner. 


Photo: MK Feeney on Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The “stoner” image still stigmatizes cannabis culture, although the movement dissipated long ago. Only in recent years has the word shed some of its negative connotation, gaining popularity through entertainment and the internet. With access to information and a global community, the benefits of cannabis began to see the light of day. One example of progress was this year’s aforementioned Outside Lands Music Festival. It wasn’t the first year OSL allowed visitors to consume cannabis, but it was the first time it has been legally sold at a music festival. I was curious to experience the “experiment” first hand, especially the booth by California-based brand, KIVA Confections. The edible market has evolved considerably in the past few years and KIVA is at the forefront.


Photo by Omari Allen

KIVA Confections was started in 2010. Their goal was to offer cannabis edibles that were potent, consistent and tasty.  At the time, the cannabis edible market was less regulated, having a more inconsistent homemade quality. KIVA co-founders Scott Palmer & Kristi Knoblich saw an opportunity to elevate the cannabis edible. Searching for fresh approaches to cannabis infusion, they consulted with a local chocolatier which helped bring everything into focus. They next met with expert cannabis cultivators and certified analytics laboratories to ensure the highest quality product. Like with any start up, it took some effort before they landed on the perfect edible. Fast forward to today and KIVA Confections, through efficacy, food safety, and business integrity, has become one of the leading California-based cannabis edibles. They have maintained their mission to offer a premium cannabis experience for customers. I witnessed this first hand during my visit to their confectionary booth at Outside Lands.


Photo courtesy of KIVA Confections

If you’ve never attended Outside Lands, it is made up of different “lands” which offer unique experiences. For example, if you’re looking for libation, there is Beer Land and Wine Land. And for “canna-bation,” there’s Grass Lands, a sprawling stoner paradise perfectly situated under a shadowy canopy of tall blue gum eucalyptus trees. The Grass Lands were definitely the chillest land around, filled with a wide range of cannabis vendors, smoking sections and interactive activities. Located squarely in the center, and standing out amongst the more subdued color palettes of neighboring vendors, was the KIVA Confectionary booth. 

Photo courtesy of KIVA Confections

The booth was shining white with gold trim and had a See’s Candies feel, an aesthetic akin to quality confectionaries consumers are typically familiar with. Workers were dressed in white dress shirts with black aprons, wearing white 5-panel baseball caps which added a hip, yet classy feel. Festival-goers bustled around the booth, patiently waiting to get their hands on one of KIVA’s confections. My personal favorite was the dark chocolate KIVA bar with the Camino pineapple habanero gummies being a close runner up. KIVA’s chocolate tastes rich, full and creamy yet has a subdued bite with a balanced sweetness. Their gummies melt in your mouth. The pineapple habanero flavor leaves a slight tingly feeling on the tongue, adding a spicy kick to the sweet flavor profile. With only 5 milligrams of THC in each serving, microdosing KIVA’s confections offers a smooth and subtle high, perfect to experience over the course of a day. Interactive stations included mazes, a gumball machine, mystery drawers and a life-sized chocolate fountain, which unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of swimming in.

Photo courtesy of KIVA Confections

KIVA Confections elevates cannabis culture through its aesthetic and focus on quality. The care they take can not only be tasted, but felt through the clean product design, informative packaging, and potency. With a blind taste test, it’d be hard to know that cannabis is in the product. But, you can certainly feel it. Like the cannabis taste, the microdosing effects are subtle as well — the perfect amount for first time cannabis edible users. Coincidentally, this aligns with the recent resurgence of “hippie ideals” in the last few years. In a time where legal medical and recreational cannabis use is prevalent, getting high doesn’t overshadow the actual benefits of cannabis use like it once did. By making more artisanal and thoughtful products, KIVA’s approach is helping to de-stigmatize the “lazy stoner” image. 

The confectionary booth attracted a wide range of festival-goers of various age groups and backgrounds, displaying how the culture is evolving into something the average consumer can enjoy.  It’s only a matter of time before cannabis-infused products are a norm at your local grocery store.

Photo courtesy of KIVA Confections
Categories
The Katchup

Cali’s Black-Market Cannabis Scene Is As Strong As Ever

Quotes in this article transcribed from the Foodbeast Katchup podcast, now on Spotify and the Apple Podcast App.

Weed is legal in California, and regulations have made it so that cannabis companies can legally get their products out to the world.

However, with taxes and regulations making products a lot more expensive than consumers are used to, a black market still exists, where edibles and weed sellers get around the legal regulations and taxes.

The hosts of the Foodbeast Katchup found this out first hand, accidentally finding themselves in an underground cannabis swap meet.

The swap meet was very secretive in nature, so much so that Katchup host Elie Ayrouth was under the impression that he was being invited to a secret dinner, as Foodbeast often is.

The two hosts didn’t linger, but not being exposed often to that type of event, they took it in, documenting their experience on the podcast.

“That day we were recording a podcast and I was like, ‘Yo Geoff, you want to go to a pop-up dinner,’ because that’s what I thought it was,” Katchup co-host Elie Ayrouth detailed. “As I asked (the inviting party) he started unveiling a little more information, and that’s when I realized that this was like a cannabis swap meet.”

Ask a stoner about these meetups, and you’ll likely get a chuckle. These are their spots if they don’t want to burn a hole in their wallet. It’s like a night market for cannabis products, and several vendors set up to sell at a secretly disclosed location.

The same risks remain from before the California laws were passed, as the dosages are not regulated, the seller isn’t adhering to any type of government regulation, and the risk of a raid still remains for vendors there.

According to CNBC, the illegal weed market is still a $70 billion industry nationwide, and undercutting the companies that are doing it the legal way.

The same CNBC article reports that while California estimated to make $1 billion from cannabis taxes, which was one of the leading forces in driving the vote for legalization, the state only made about $345 million from the legal dispensaries.

As we learned from a previous podcast with Kristi Knoblich-Palmer, co-founder of Kiva Confectionery edibles, the price points are some of the biggest differences between the legal and illegal markets, and she detailed why the prices for legal products can often be so high:

“There are the most extreme requirements that we have as a brand. We don’t like frustrating our consumers, that’s not our first choice. Regulation requires us to put our products into a child-resistant box. That box has increased in price from this year to last year by 5x. The state requires that we test absolutely every batch for food safety and potency, to make sure that it meets state standards. The way that the state has testing happening right now, it is extremely expensive, and we also have to do it twice. You’re paying thousands of dollars per batch in testing. The last one and most impactful, is taxes. Because cannabis is a little bit fringe… everybody has their hands in our pocket. The state has a pretty high excise tax, which ends up being 15% to the consumer. Then we have a local tax. Our taxes are getting marked up, and marked up, all throughout the supply chain.”

So there’s a reason that $18 for their chocolate bar is so expensive, and also a reason that consumers flock to the underground industry.

Even as the LA Times has reported that the city has been cracking down on illegal cannabis sales, there are reportedly hundreds of illegal dispensaries across Los Angeles alone.

These black market shops are still thriving, and it might take time before there’s a shift in that culture.

Categories
Brand Culture Health Products Toasty

How Cannabis Can Enhance Wellness and Mindfulness

Yoga has been in my life for as long as I can remember, but the relationship I’ve had with my practice has changed drastically over the last couple years. The biggest change was in my outlook. Yoga once was just a form of exercise for me, but has become an integral part of my self-care routine, and necessary for remaining sane among the craziness of life.

If one were to look at a timeline, they’d notice this change coincidentally occurred when I moved from DC to California, transitioning from a land with strict limitations surrounding cannabis to the new frontier in the industry – I said goodbye to the days of having to text an unreliable “dealer” to replenish my stash, and hello to the concept of a med card and plenty of dispensaries within a 2-mile vicinity.

I would be lying if I said the ease of acquiring cannabis didn’t impact the frequency with which I consumed it. Who’d blame me? But I found these moments becoming less about “indulging” and the East Coast guilt surrounding it (yeah, I’m making that a thing), and more about mental health and getting in tune with myself.

I initiated a little case study as I first started out in the land of legal cannabis. Some days I’d take a hit or two before my yoga class, and some days I’d go without. I noticed a stark difference between the two: on days I’d consume, I got far deeper into my practice, was more regulated with my breathing, and less inhibited to try poses, even if they were typically out of my comfort zone. I felt alive during my practice instead of counting down the minutes until my workout was over.

Experiencing yoga in this way, without the barriers of hyper awareness and self doubt, gave me such a different experience that it was worth noting – and repeating. And now that recreational cannabis is legalized in the state of California for adults, there are tons of product options to incorporate into your routine. One of the most interesting brands I’ve come across is Dosist, which I found at Blüm Dispensary.

 

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Dosist calls themselves “the first complete solution in cannabis,” and I agree that they’ve made a revolutionary product. The brand has created a vape of sorts that gives out consistent “doses” each time. To be specific, the user inhales for about 4-5 seconds and then will feel a vibration from the pen, noting the completion of a dose. They have six different pens, with each eliciting a different vibe or feeling: bliss, sleep, calm, relief, arouse, and passion.

Dosist uses varying ratios of THC to CBD, along with culinary grade terpenes to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) inside each of us to achieve the “mood” associated with each pen. For example, the “Calm” pen is a 1:10 THC to CBD ratio, and contains terpenes like limonene, known to relieve stress and anxiety, and myrcene, known for its muscle relaxing properties. The “Relief” pen is a 10:1 THC to CBD ratio, and contains terpenes like terpinolene, known for its relaxing properties, and beta-caryophyllene, which is said to lower inflammation and reduce pain.

These effects are just a couple examples of the benefits cannabis has had on my yoga practice. Let’s be real – yoga is deeply rooted in flow and movement and some positions seem like part of a contortionist act, so it’s important for the body to be in a malleable state to achieve certain postures. Relieving the body of stress or inflammation can loosen your muscles, allowing you to get deeper into poses with less discomfort.

The usage of terpenes is also beneficial to us when in food, not just with cannabis. At a recent wellness event with Dosist at ESO Live Well, a nutritionist-curated menu featured build-your-own avocado toast, fresh berries, and egg frittatas. Avocados contain the terpene myrcene, and raspberries contain the terpene limonene, two terpenes also found in the Dosist “Calm” pen. Consuming terpene-rich foods can nourish the body and accentuate your practice, too, especially when in tandem with their counterparts found in cannabis.

Products like Dosist that blend together the plant medicine of cannabis with terpene “therapy” take the guesswork out of self care, and empower users seeking to control their mood and outlook. When trying a new product, consistency is key to understanding its effects and properly managing your dosing for next time. Keep track of how you feel in a journal to decide what the perfect dose for you might be and most importantly, have fun while doing it!

 

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Created in partnership with Blüm

  • This content was created in partnership with Blüm.
  • These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  • The statements in this article are for informational and educational purposes only. This does not constitute an advertisement or offer to sell any marijuana or other cannabis-derived products. It is intended for persons over the age of 21.
  • Although Marijuana is recreationally legal in California and Nevada, you must be at least 21 years of age to buy, possess or consume cannabis products of any kind. It is illegal to sell or advertise cannabis-derived products to anyone under the age of 21 or in locations where persons under 21 are expected to be found.
  • Do not over consume any drug or controlled substance, even if it is legal to do so. Always use good judgment when consuming marijuana, and do so responsibly.
  • Marijuana can impair your judgment and the ability to operate kitchen appliances and engage in sports or other physical activities.