Cannabis-Infused Food Could Trend In The U.S. This Year

Cannabis products on display at the Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. retail cannabis store after marijuana retail sales commenced in the province of Ontario, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 1, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Moe Doiron)

Data from a National Restaurant Association survey discovered that three in four chefs in the U.S. mentioned cannabis-infused options as a highly possible trend in the food sector this year.

The survey included insights from 650 professional chefs and it found that many chefs have a very positive outlook about cannabis-infused food as a hot trend in 2019. According to CNBC, only 10 American states have legalized cannabis and only for recreational purposes but some private clubs have already started offering cannabis-infused products.

Chefs in the U.S. said they only started offering the dishes to supply the demand. The same is true in Canada, where some chefs offer a wide range of dishes infused in Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Many chefs in Canada are looking forward to the opportunities that the new trend has to offer.

"We're the first country of chefs that can fully legally cook with it and experiment with it and I'm really excited to start working with more flavors, tastes and smells," culinary chef, Travis Petersen, said about the growing demand for cannabis-infused food in Canada.

Despite the excitement in American and Canadian food sectors for the potentials that cannabis-in-food have to offer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is against the idea of adding cannabis to beverages and food dishes. A public hearing on the issue, scheduled for May 31, has yet to reveal whether or not cannabis-infused food will be allowed.

"Bar Rescue" host Jon Taffer also shared his insights on the inclusion of CBD- and cannabis-infused choices in restaurants. Taffer said he believes it's not impossible to see restaurants serving such food dishes in the near future, especially with the FDA deliberating on the matter.

Existing FDA regulations state that any product can have no less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the element that triggers cannabis' psychoactive effects. The upcoming hearing's results could either make or break the expectations of chefs who believe cannabis-infused food will make it to the mainstream.

In Israel, startup Cannible FoodTech is set to unveil a set of CBD-infused snacks later in 2019. The options include iced coffee mixes, spice blends, baking mixes, popcorn, and pizza toppings. The Israeli food manufacturer is also looking to collaborate with some U.S. food plants to expand its international reach while ensuring that it abides by American cannabis laws.

Cannible Founder and CMO, Ziv Turner, said all products under the company "are infused with dosages of cannabis compounds." He explained that the choices have been created with the consideration of regulations in Israel and other countries. He also said the firm is following strict protocols to ensure that their "products are pharma grade." 

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