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News

California Home Cooks Are Now Able To Sell Their Food Legally, Here’s What That Means For You

I had many relatives tell me over the course of my childhood that their cooking was so good, they would open up a restaurant. While, admittedly, family-cooked Vietnamese food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, having to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to open a restaurant is usually a pretty big deterrent.

For Californian home cooks looking to make a little extra scratch, however, things are about to get much easier.

Gov. Jerry Brown just signed Assembly Bill No. 626, which allows residents to sell home-cooked dishes to the public, without needing a restaurant or food truck.

This bill will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019, reports the SF Chronicle, and selling home-cooked meals might be the new norm in California.

Before you book it to the grocery store and buy a bunch of ingredients to get your food business off the ground, there are a few things you’ll need to know first.

Below is everything you need to know to get you started on your potential home-cooked business endeavor:


How To Get Started

It’s still technically illegal to sell food from you home without adhering to strict guidelines. Before you start slanging meals from your home, you’ll need to do the following:

  • You must apply for a home-cooking license. Check with your city/county government on how to start this process, as it differs.
  • Standard operating procedures must be written and submitted to local law enforcement, and specify the foods you will be working with, along with the hours you’ll be operating throughout the day.
  • Homeowners must also pass a mandatory inspection.

What Sets Your Home Business Apart From A Restaurant?

Operating a home food business will be drastically cheaper than opening up a restaurant, but the limitations will be greater as well. Here are a few ceilings to expect before starting your business.

  • Your operation can’t have more than one full-time employee.
  • You can’t make more than $50,000 a year in verifiable gross annual sales.
  • You can’t post outdoor displays or signs advertising your business.
  • Food must be prepared and served all on the same day. If you do deliver, it must be within a time period that the food will still be safe to eat.
  • You can use an open-air barbecue or outdoor wood-burning oven as part of your business.
  • Serving and selling raw oysters is NOT allowed.
  • Food must be sold directly to consumers and cannot be sold to any wholesale or retailer.
  • No more than 30 meals may be served in a single day and no more than 60 individual meals can be served through a week.
  • Food must be sold to consumers directly and can not be through delivery services or the mail. You can have a delivery driver employed who sends out food the same day, but you can’t use Grubhub or Doordash to sell your food.

These are the highlights from the new legislation, but any home cooks who are interested in seriously starting up a business may want to look over the whole thing for the nitty gritty details.


Photos: Foodbeast // Peter Pham
Categories
Hit-Or-Miss Humor

How I Scored Edibles In The Nation’s Capital

In November 2014, the people of the District of Columbia made their voices heard in a historic vote in favor of the “Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative.” This was met with celebration amongst stoners and non-stoners alike, but we didn’t know at the time that this “Initiative 71,” as they fondly nicknamed it, would prove to be literally the dumbest law that has ever existed.

Let me break this down for you, since it’s pretty obvious the government decided it would be super fun to give something that should be so simple a ridiculously long name in hopes of confusing people about what are and aren’t their rights. Under Initiative 71, any persons over the age of 21 are able to have up to two ounces of weed on their person at any time, “gift” up to one ounce of weed to another person, grow up to six marijuana plants in their own home as long as only two are mature at the same time, possess marijuana-related paraphernalia, and indulge in the privacy of their own home.

Notice I didn’t mention anything about buying or selling weed. That’s because under Initiative 71, it’s still illegal to do so.

Here’s where Kush Gods comes in.

Kush Gods is essentially a mobile weed distributor who is known around the streets of DC for their garish, nug-covered “Kushmobiles.” Their work is technically legal, since the company “accepts donations” for goods, rather than charging for them. Founder Nicholas Cunningham had previously been making a living on the West Coast, but moved East after the passing of Initiative 71 to tap into a market that was just forming.

Cunningham has been dragged to court more times than anyone would like to count (sometimes all you can do is lol about how our tax dollars are spent), and most of the cases resulted in his favor, except for the most recent, which required Cunningham to get his signature “Kushmobiles” off the streets of DC. This, of course, didn’t stop him. After following the Gods for a while now, I decided to see what the hype is about.

12:09pm: It’s that time on Friday where I’m like ‘shit, I need to figure out what I’m doing this weekend so I don’t stay in and cuddle with my roommate’s cat like the loser that I am.’ I’m in the middle of brushing said cat off my lap when it hits me — this is the perfect moment to contact the Kush Gods. I went to their Twitter page, texted the listed number with what I felt to be a direct, yet low-key text, and awaited their word.

kush gods

12:27pm: I half-expected there to be no response, but sure enough, they followed through. They even sent a link to some original Kush Gods music, as the company likes to showcase their involvement in other industries besides weed, namely music production and, not evidenced by this photo but still prominent, philanthropic work. I’m pumped.

5:00pm: I order an Uber to the location provided to me in the text message, excited but nervous for what is about to go down.

5:35pm: My Uber dumps me at the address listed, but to my surprise, the location is actually a very popular coffee place *winky smile* if ya know what I’m sayin’.

5:36pm: Palms sweaty, heart palpitating, I hesitantly look around the patio area for the “girl with the clipboard.” Even though my activity is technically legal, it feels like I am doing something bad. I push the thoughts of what my mother would have to say about this endeavor aside, approach the woman, and sit across from her at a table outside.

5:37pm: For the first few seconds I don’t make any sound, which makes it very apparent this is my first time. Getting the hint, the woman utters, with a knowing and kind smile on her face, “Would you like to make a donation?” I ask her, “What donation amount corresponds with an edible you have in stock,” trying to be all sly, and she responds a $10 donation will get me one weed cookie. “Is one enough to get you stoned?” I ask, like an imbecile. She literally laughs in my face.

5:38pm: Okay, so this is awesome. An edible for only $10! Side note: I think it’s pretty obvious I live in a highly overpriced city when I’m pumped about paying “only $10” for an edible.

5:39pm: Next, I am instructed to walk to an alternate location of the “popular coffee place” that is only a few blocks away. This whole thing feels surreal, and I’m such a square normally that this trek to legally acquire drugs makes me feel like the badass that I certainly am not. I walk in the door, approach the girl I am advised to meet, tell her my name, and then she just hands me a small baggie with the weed cookie inside. In broad daylight. In front of literally everyone at this coffee place. Casually. Like it wasn’t drugs. Kind of anticlimactic, but whatever.

kush gods weed edible

6:15pm: Now that the deed is done, it is time for the all-important taste test. I take an initial nibble of the cookie to feel it out. It is delicious. Like a legit bakery-quality cookie that is moist yet chewy. It’s almost more of a chocolate chip blondie than anything. The weed taste is still recognizable, but not to the the point where it’s disruptive. I inhale the remainder of the cookie, and then prepare my belly for dinner.

Pro-tip: eat your edible on a fairly empty stomach, so it’ll digest faster.

7:00pm: Sure enough, 45 minutes have passed and I start losing my train of thought mid-sentence, a true sign that I am indeed stoned.

7:15pm: My friend decides we should go get coffee because she lives in a bougie apartment building that has a Seattle’s Best machine in the lobby. I tell her Seattle’s Best Coffee sucks and is bitter at best. Okay, so good to know that any filter I came into the evening with has officially been eliminated.

7:17pm: We’re in the lobby. I’m feeling weird. I unintentionally make eye contact with every person in the room and I feel like they immediately know my secret.

7:19pm: I’m staring at the coffee as it brews. I am enamored with this thing. In my mind, it’s basically a just-as-cool-but-smaller version of the fountain show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I’m definitely high.

7:20pm: I remember that my friend lives right above a Harris Teeter. She catches on to my thought process and suggests we make an ice cream run. I’m down, obviously.

7:25pm: We are in the freezer aisle. The brand and flavor of ice cream my friend wants is not on the shelf. She said she knows the truck is making its delivery as we speak, and asks an employee to go check in the back for it. I think it is very strange that my friend knows exactly when the ice cream delivery takes place.

7:26pm: My high is really coming on, and I’m pretty sure it’s been an hour since we last saw the Harris Teeter guy. People are walking through the frozen aisle, doing their normal shopping, but I feel like my lack of sobriety is obvious to everyone. I avoid eye contact.

7:27pm: Holy shit, I see someone I know. ABORT!!! Shit, he sees me, too. I hesitantly say hi, then somehow string together a slew of sentences that actually make sense. Our conversation ends naturally, and he resumes his shopping. Whewh. I survived a completely normal human interaction. My friend turns to me, asks if I just shat my pants, and I slowly nod without saying a word.

7:30pm: The Harris Teeter guy returns. I realize it’s only been five minutes, not ten years. They don’t have the ice cream. We settle for chocolate peanut butter, which is hardly settling.

7:31pm: We walk (at a glacial pace) to the self-checkout. I’m really confused because I’m holding the pint of ice cream in my left hand, but the hot cup of coffee in my right. The whole hot/cold combo is really tripping me out. It is kind of surreal, though. Like an icy hot patch is spanning over my entire body.

7:35pm: We’re safe and back in the apartment. I made it. I survived. I conquered. We break out the ice cream, and my friend hands me what I feel at the time is the largest spoon I’ve ever seen. I talk about the spoon for an entire minute, and how large it is, perplexed by my friend’s choice in flatware. I then proceed to eat the ice cream straight from the carton.

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7:45pm: I finally put the spoon down after a solid 10-minute chow. I feel something sticky and realize I managed to get chocolate on my phone/hair/entire upper body. I have to go to the bathroom and essentially give myself a sponge bath. It’s fine.

8:20pm: Whoops, just spent an entire 45 minutes watching “Wine About It” on YouTube.

8:21pm: I just Googled “is djKHALED married,” so there’s that.

8:23pm: Still reading about DJ Khaled…why?

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9:09pm: Deep thoughts.

9:30pm: I’m at the point where I’m playing with my hair and just can’t stop. Just like stroking my own head. I’m back home, and my roommate is giving me a weird look but I must continue. My hair is so soft. I. Just. Have. To. Touch. It.

10:00pm: After some serious vegging, I muster the strength to make the short trek up to my warm, comfy bed.

All in all I would say the Kush Gods came through for probably one of the best highs I’ve ever had from an edible. It wasn’t so strong that I passed out immediately or was paralyzed from being so blown. Just a good, solid buzz for the perfect amount of time. Not to mention I slept like a baby that night. 10/10, would do again, and I highly suggest you do, too.

Categories
Features

5 Awesome Cities That Allow Public Drinking (And The Things You Should Know)

The majority of the United States doesn’t allow public consumption of alcohol, but there remain a few key places where open containers are legal. We got the lowdown on each and all the nuanced parts of the law you’ll need to keep in mind:

Butte, Montana

In the city of Butte, you can openly drink in the streets for 18 hours of the day. Open containers are prohibited between the hours of 2am and 8am. Same goes for a majority of the state unless specifically noted by a particular city or region. No open containers in vehicles while on a highway.

public-drinking-wine-bottles
Just because open containers are allowed doesn’t mean you need to drink everything at once. Pace yourself. Photo: Marcus Povey / Flickr

The Power & Light District of Kansas City, Missouri

The Power & Light District, or P&L, is a shopping and entertainment district in Downtown Kansas City and is one of the few places in the US where possession and consumption of alcohol is totally chill on the street. Still prohibited throughout the rest of Kansas City, so don’t keep sipping once you’re out of the district!

booze-is-your-friend
But if you drink on the streets outside of P&L, then booze is a very bad friend. Photo: Bart Everson / Flickr

Clark County, Nevada, including the The Las Vegas Strip

Easily one of the most popular places to drink in public besides New Orleans (we’re getting there, don’t worry), there are some key legal points that needs to be addressed. The law allows for possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages within 1000 feet of the store from which it was purchased. You actually can not drink in parking lots, and during special events, like New Year’s celebrations, it is illegal to possess a glass or aluminum beverage container on designated streets.

drinking-police
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. After his arrest, this guy stayed in Vegas.Photo: Brent Payne / Flickr

It’s also illegal to have an open container while driving or in any passenger seat. The only exception is when you’ve hired someone to drive you, such as a limo or taxi driver, then it’s fine – according to the most recent laws.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Within the confines of New Orleans, the possession and consumption of any alcoholic beverage on the streets is legal as long as it is in a plastic container (can’t be in a glass). Drinking in public is still illegal for the rest of the state – however the state is known for having some pretty sweet drive-thru frozen daiquiri stands.

street-drunk
Some things you can’t unsee. Photo: Tim / Flickr

East Aurora, New York

Heralded as one of the best towns to raise a family in New York State, the meagerly populated town apparently has no open container law. Digging in to local government and real estate discussion boards will find a few citizens that actually wish their town did have an open container law – as the area becomes safe havens for music festivals but doesn’t have an ordinance to protect against public drinking.

aurora-east-new-york
Keep on rockin’ in the free world! Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Flickr
Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Kosher And Halal Animal Slaughter Now Banned In Denmark

Demark-Meat

On Monday, Demark has issued a ban on the religious slaughter of animals. The move garnered tremendous backlash from both Jewish and Muslim communities, Time reports.

Because of the ban, slaughterhouses are now required to stun animals before they’re killed. Before, religious communities were given a pass when it came to this. However, that’s not happening any longer.

Dan Jørgensen, the Danish minister for agriculture and food, told Demark’s TV2 that “Animal rights come before religion.”

The Independent reports that activists are upset over the change calling it a “clear interference in religious freedom.”

Under both kashrut and halal laws, Jews and Muslims will not consume meat unless the animal is killed with a single slice to the neck, with the intent being to minimize the pain.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Man Ticketed for Driving Under the Influence of Burger

Eating-Driving

Last week, it was reported that an Alabama man was ticketed for eating McDonald’s while driving. Madison Turner was pulled over after being spotted eating a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese by a police officer.

Apparently, the officer had been watching Turner go to town on the burger for about two miles before pulling him over.

The law reads: A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.

This raises the question of whether or not you can get ticketed for driving while eating. According to the officer, Madison was clearly distracted from his duties on the road when chowing on the burger.

Madison had this to say about the whole burger situation:

Maybe I was enjoying the burger too much [and] I needed to tone it down. I was certainly willing to do so but I didn’t expect to be fined or punished.

As of now, there are no explicit laws saying it’s illegal to eat and drive. That being said, there are a ton of distracted driving laws. This means that any action performed in a vehicle, whether texting, applying makeup, or eating can cause you to be pulled over if deemed a big enough distraction from following driving laws.

Pretty much, if you make a big enough show of doing something other than driving you can get a ticket.

The case is currently ongoing. A Cobb County police spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

Next time you order a sloppy Animal Style Double Double, just pull over and enjoy it.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

California Bars to Finally Start Serving Alcohol After Two in the Morning?

Martini Glasses on a red bar

I’m fully supportive of any piece of legislation that will get me drunk in the wee hours of the morning support the Californian economy, which is why California Senator Mark Leno has just become my new personal hero with the introduction of a new bill that would allow Californian bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. Current California law forbids bars and restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages after the clock strikes two — a full two hours earlier than the cutoff times for other major cities like New York City and Chicago. Leno argues that keeping California bars open (and serving) for longer would allow cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego to start “expanding nightlife [and] boosting jobs, tourism, and local tax revenue.”

Alcohol consumption is a very important part of a thriving economy, y’all. So if this bill passes and you find yourself at a bar at 3 a.m. drunkenly serenading your companions with an off-key rendition of “My Heart Will Go On,” just remember—you’re not doing it for them. You’re not doing it for yourself. You’re not even doing it for Celine Dion. You’re doing it to save the economy. And God bless America.

H/T AbcLocal + PicThnx HuffPo