Medical cannabis in New York had a rough, slow start with limited access. Recreational or adult-use cannabis, however, is blazing trails. New York went from busting people for pot, to considering letting them add cannabis to the pot when cooking for the public.

New York could soon be home to some lit pizza joints, sub shops, bakeries, and other eateries. These businesses would stand to make substantial profits from the legal medical and retail cannabis industries. Cannabis-infused edibles are a big business but just think about fresh cannabis-infused foods from your favorite food spot?

Could you imagine ordering your favorite pepperoni pie with a cannabis-infused sauce? Or perhaps a chocolate frosted cannabis cream-filled donut? Cannabis slushies and smoothies, coffee drinks, ice cream, and more could soon be a reality in the state of New York.

You could even have high-end dining with an enhanced cannabis experience. Services such as this could offer top-quality high-end cannabis products infused with foods to bring out exotic flavors and aromas with both medicinal and recreational properties.

11-Hydroxy-THC Could Complicate Things

This sounds really good, but you’d have to be careful. The 11-Hydroxy-Metabolite or 11-Hydroxy-THC is no joke. This particular type of THC isn’t found naturally in cannabis. Instead, it is a product of digestion. 11-Hydroxy-THC is created when the body breaks down Delta-9-THC as it passes through the liver and gastrointestinal system. Basically, what this means is that people have a much higher chance of becoming more intoxicated from cannabis edibles than they do from smoking cannabis, as an example.

The result of consuming cannabis-Infused edibles which convert to 11-Hydroxy-THC is that they produce a much more intense effect than what you get from smoking cannabis and other medical cannabis consumption methods. This process tends to occur more in middle-aged to older adults than in younger adults. It’s what gives edibles their kick. You might be able to smoke all day, but suddenly, 200 mg of cannabis edibles and a few hours later, it’s sleepy night-night time.

According to the New York Post, state officials in New York are hashing over the concept of allowing eateries such as pizza joints to offer fresh cannabis-infused food and packaged cannabis edibles.

A state Office of Cannabis Management Spokesman, Aaron Ghitelman, confirmed to media sources that discussion surrounding this topic has taken place, but was clear to point out that “the regulations regarding infused food products have not been released yet.”

Medical cannabis has been legal in the state of New York since 2014. It wasn’t until 2021 that the push for recreational cannabis succeeded. Now both medical cannabis and adult-use recreational cannabis are legal in the state of New York. The state seems to be eyeing every opportunity to capitalize on profits from cannabis legalization, which is good.

Max Bookman is an attorney with the NYC Hospitality Alliance. When questioned about this topic by the media, Mr. Bookman stated, “We’ve been advocating for on license cannabis sales for restaurants and nightlife establishments. New York is the culinary capital of the world. But, denying establishments from having both a liquor and cannabis license killed our buzz. We’re waiting to see the regulations.”

In many places where cannabis is legal, you can only have one or the other on the premises. Many places haven’t grown up enough or matured with a positive cannabis policy to allow the sales of both cannabis and alcohol in the same place.

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Opting to Add Cannabis to the Menu Means Opting Out from Serving Children

Eateries in New York are allowed to sell freshly-made cannabis-infused foods and prepackaged cannabis-infused edibles come with a new territory of business. Should an establishment choose to opt into adding cannabis to its menu, they would opt out of allowing children in their establishment. There would also be strict rules for to-go orders and delivery services that must be taken into consideration. The main thing would be to avoid sales of any sorts to children.

There would also be other issues to take into consideration that people might not think of. Whether you’re dealing with medical cannabis or recreational cannabis, all cannabis is not created equally. There are some growers out there and other cannabis businesses that are simply in it to win It. By win it, I mean to make as much money as possible. They do so by cutting corners by using potentially dangerous and harmful chemicals and additives that severely compromise the quality of the cannabis they produce and sell, as well as the products made from it.

For example, it could lead to all kinds of problems if a grower is spraying neem oil on their plants instead of using a professional certified Integrated Pest Management control. They can also use plant growth regulators or PGRs to bump up the volume at the cost of quality. These additives could produce potentially adverse effects when ingested or consumed, especially when cooked.

Cannabis can be a very pricey ingredient. The quality of cannabis goes up along with the price. Typically, the more expensive the cannabis is, the higher the quality. Cannabis isn’t only about high cannabinoid profiles. It’s also about terpenes. Terpenes play a very important role in how cannabis tastes as well as how it affects us. This means for truly top-shelf cannabis with an exquisite cannabinoid and terpene profile; consumers would be paying a pretty price.

If I was going to enjoy fresh cannabis-infused food, I much rather prefer it to come from cannabis that tastes good to start with. I don’t want it being made from some round-town-brown or chemically cultivated garbage. With New York being dubbed “The culinary capital of America,” allowing eatery’s the option to infuse their menus with cannabis could be huge!

New York offers so much to see and do. While there are loads of things for the kids to do, not everything in the city that never sleeps is intended for children. The club scene and after-hours nightlife in NYC is a lit one that blazes all hours of the night into the next day. This nightlife scene in New York caters to an adult community. An adult community that could soon find cannabis-infused into some of their favorite nightlife hotspots. Could you imagine nightclubs, pizza joints, coffee spots, and others offering cannabis-infused items on their menus?  Seeing how edibles are among the favorite consumption methods of patients, it is likely that infused eateries would be embraced by not just recreational consumers but also by those that utilize medical cannabis.

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