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Marijuana Among Restaurant Trends for 2019

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CBD is becoming ubiquitous despite being, strictly speaking, not quite legal everywhere.

What do millennials, vegans, vegetarians, the wellness crowd and “Wall Streeters” all have in common? They’re all early adopters of a growing trend in the restaurant business: offering cannabis-based items on the menu.

That’s according to a 2019 trends report from international restaurant consulting agency Baum and Whiteman. Members of each of the above groups have led consumer interest in seeing more marijuana on the menu at their favorite restaurant. Trend-setting eateries are already responding, and we’re not talking about the Maine restaurant that gets lobsters high before boiling them. Chefs in restaurants as diverse as juice bars, organic eateries and smoothie shops are getting cannabis on the menu.

It’s an interesting, growing area of the cannabis business. Although, as Baum and Whiteman noted, “we haven’t heard from Olive Garden and Applebee’s just yet.”

CBD, not THC

In ranking marijuana menu items as a trend for 2019, Baum and Whiteman offered examples of restaurants that have already taken the plunge into cannabis-infused food and drink. In most cases, these items involve the use of cannabidiols (CBD), a chemical ingredient that naturally occurs in marijuana.

Although CBD is associated with health benefits that include pain management and relaxation, it is not to be confused with THC, which is the ingredient in cannabis that gets you high.

The Baum and Whiteman report includes references to a handful of restaurants. Here’s a closer look to give you some idea of where this trend is going. All these restaurants are, obviously, in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Don’t expect CBD-laced truffles in Texas.

Juice Crafters

In Los Angeles, Juice Crafters now offers a line of CBD-infused teas. They include CBD Blue, CBD Green, CBD Black Tea and CBD Elixir. The elixir, according to Juice Crafters, is an “anti-stressor” that “supports a healthy blood pressure” and “digestive health.”

These are just a few of the examples. As noted by Baum and Whiteman, trendsetters already are buying into CBD-infused menu items and it’s just a matter of time before “the rest of us will follow.”

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Published: November 23, 2018

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