The cannabis industry remains in the spotlight as major alcohol companies such as Diageo, Constellation Brands, Heineken and Molson Coors continue to show a growing interest in cannabis-infused beverages. However, the American edibles market is set to expand on Friday, October 5 with the launch of the country’s first full-service medicinal cannabis kitchen in Arizona.
The Tempe, Arizona-based kitchen will be launched by The Mint Dispensary, which is one of the largest medicinal cannabis dispensaries in the US. Patients who hold medicinal cannabis cards will be able to have access to freshly made cannabis-infused meals that are prepared by professional chefs.
The Mint Dispensary’s 12,000-foot Tempe location will offer a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options, in addition to snacks and their regular cannabis product offerings. The launch will mark the first time that cannabis patients will legally have access to freshly prepared foods that have customized doses of cannabis.
“Our industry continues to evolve at an exponential pace,” said Eivan Shahara, CEO of The Mint Dispensary in a release. “We saw a large unmet need from patients who were regularly visiting our dispensary; they were looking to access fresh and healthy cannabis-infused foods. We know that the right kinds of healthy foods can help people to battle a variety of illnesses, from cancer and epilepsy to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. We’re using our knowledge about food and nutrition to help patients in their search for fresh, healthy snacks and infused meals.”
The full-service kitchen will offer a complete menu of foods ranging from artisan burgers to pizzas that customers can order to go. The kitchen will also have a barista, a juice bar, gelato options and a variety of pastries to choose from. All food products are available with customized doses of cannabis that range incrementally from 10 mg and up. A full menu of items will be available on the Mint Dispensary’s website once the kitchen opens.
Chef Carylann Principal, who is a classically trained chef and cancer survivor, developed all of the recipes for this medicinal cannabis kitchen. Principal joined The Mint Dispensary’s team as an executive chef and she manages a five-member team that is tasked with preparing a steady stream of food during the dispensary’s regular operating hours – 8 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.
“Our kitchen is one of a kind,” said Chef Principal. “It’s a place where art meets science. In addition to understanding the variety of flavors that different cannabis strains can add to any dish, we’re also carefully calculating customized cannabis doses. We’re not only delivering delicious and fresh foods, but we’re also meeting the often-complex nutritional needs of patients who are living with a wide range of illnesses.”
Starting mid-November, the dispensary will also offer catering services for large medicated events, weddings, birthdays and funerals. Additionally, the company will also offer a variety of holiday-themed meals for occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day. To tie it all together, Mint will introduce a home delivery service and will host free cooking classes on Sunday mornings starting around the holidays.
This innovative new concept has the potential to start a new trend within the cannabis industry. Most edible cannabis products come in the form of sweets and candy which may not be as appealing as healthy and freshly prepared meals. As the cannabis industry continues to expand to other markets, there might be more opportunities emerging in the near future.
With Canada well on its way to establishing the nationwide legalization of recreational cannabis, the edibles industry might have a chance to expand up north. Even though the legalization of edible cannabis products in Canada isn’t expected until the fall of 2019, alcohol companies are already starting to invest in the Canadian edibles market. This is indicative of the potential market value of edible cannabis products in the Canadian market once they are legalized.
Nevertheless, The Mint Dispensary is on its way to making history with the launch of their kitchen. However, with the way the marijuana market is expanding currently, there will likely be more cannabis kitchens opening up in the near future.