Matt Borgersen, the 25-year-old executive chef at Westwood’s Caffe Anello, has fond memories of a creamy brie he enjoyed at a dining event in Colorado. Instead of honey, it was served with an agave nectar infused with THC — the psychoactive compound of marijuana.
"I can't wait until I can start making similar dishes in New Jersey, if and when recreational marijuana is legalized," said Borgersen.
Legislators have been back and forth on the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey, and recently put the decision off until 2020. If marijuana is legalized in New Jersey in 2020, it could plunge chefs into a brave new world of cooking possibilities.
But judging by other states' examples, that plunge might take longer than home cooks, chefs and diners might want, if at all.
In the 10 states where recreational cannabis is legal (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine), you’ll find no marijuana dining revolution. Instead, cannabis meals are mainly relegated to invite-only dinners, gentlemen’s clubs and speakeasy-style back rooms.
The reason? Serving food made with cannabis is a gray area in the law. Federal law still considers the consumption of marijuana illegal, and most states where marijuana is legal only allow sales of edibles (foods infused with cannabis) under very specific circumstances.