Category: Food

Ed Murrieta’s Cannabis Edibles Safety App Pitch Deck


Holy Cacao! Chocolate Experts Will Taste Test Cannabis Chocolate

Three noted Bay Area chocolatiers agree to assess looks, flavors and textures of leading brands.


“Everyone loves chocolate and it makes people smile,” said the CEO of the 150-year-old chocolate company that bears his family’s name. “What could be better than that?”

Cannabis connoisseurs might respond, “Cannabis,” while missing the rhetorical futility of answering the chocolate CEO’s question.

From Montezuma to your grandma, chocolate tops many peoples’ list of life’s pleasures.  What could be better than chocolate? Better chocolate.

With that in mind, I asked three big names in California chocolate to eyeball and taste-test the chocolate contained in leading brands on sale in California cannabis stores. They all agreed. Taste-test pending an editor’s purchase of the story.

Never mind effects.  Experts will focus solely on brands’ chocolate quality, assessing cannabis bars on appearance, flavors and mouthfeel, caring more about cacao content than THC strength while minding the marriage of beans and terpenes in upmarket products that retail for double-digit prices.

Experts will sample only dark chocolate bars without any fruit, nut, candy or spice additives. Milk chocolate and white chocolate products were not considered.

Experts will focus on visual clues that reveal how products are manufactured, handled and stored; flavors that highlight cacao origins, roasting methods and cannabis infusion; and mouthfeel from first bite to final finish.



Reds, Whites and Green: Here’s the Buzz About Making Cannabis Wine at Home

Artisanally extract and infuse the botanical herb’s aromas, flavors and effects into wine. Plus a recipe for my mold-breaking red wine cannabis gelee.


Cannabis wine is civilization’s original intoxicating collision: two great buzzes that buzz great together.

Evidence of cannabis wine — aka green wine — has been found in ancient writings and historic digs. A timeless tincture, cannabis wine’s uses have ranged from spiritual to medicinal to bacchanalian.

In modern culture — eg: California, circa 2018 — cannabis wine is a holy grail that got away.

Legalization outlawed commercially combining cannabis and alcohol, just as some boutique West Coast vintners were producing $400 bud-bouquetted bottles slowly fermented from grape juice and cannabis, artisanally extracting and infusing the botanical herb’s aromas, flavors and effects into fine wine.

Feel free to toast underground winemakers in Sonoma, Mendocino and Mesopotamia — or anywhere grapes and cannabis grow — and  invest in a home wine-making rig so you can ferment your own potent potables.

Or you can kitchen-hack cannabis wine at home using a simple, if less elegant, infusion of weed, wine and time.

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Cannabis Tourism Is a Thing in California

San Francisco Chronicle Travel section dives into Golden State’s legal new attraction.



I’ve got two stories in the San Francisco Chronicle’s California cannabis travel package today.

Here’s my story on the Top 5 California cannabis tourist destinations.

Here’s my story on the best cannabis-friendly lodgings.

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Cannabis Buzzes Big Foodie

Bay Area food marketer has touted cannabis edibles and cannabis cuisine since 2014. This year, the Specialty Food Association listened. 


Detail of CCD Innovation’s poster forecasting food trends for 2018.


Read about it on GreenState. 

Toldja! Specialty Food Association and Fancy Food Show Embrace Cannabis Cuisine

Pot-infused foods are No. 8 on Big Foodie’s top 10 food-trend predictions for 2018. Whole Foods edibles ahoy?


On Oct. 17, I asked the Specialty Food Association if cannabis edibles will be featured at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco Jan. 21-23.

I did not receive an answer.

Until today, when I located a press release the Specialty Food Association issued Nov. 15.

Cannabis cuisine is No. 8 on the association’s Trendspotter Panel’s top 10 food-trend predictions for 2018 and will be discussed at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

“Cannabis cuisine. As more states legalize recreational marijuana, the varieties of pot-enhanced food and beverage will increase. Look out for continued interest and acceptance in a host of snacks, treats, and beverages with a little something extra.*”

“*The Specialty Food Association recognizes that Federal law prohibits the possession, sale or distribution of marijuana, but its sale and use is declared legal under some state laws. In recognizing cannabis as a food trend, the SFA in no way endorses or encourages activities which are in violation of state or Federal law.”

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How to Make Any Cookbook a Cannabis Cookbook

Open mainstream cookbook. Pick a recipe. Add cannabis. 


It happens most holiday gift-giving seasons: You give your mother your wish list. Instead of the Schwinn you want, she gives you a Huffy.

What do you do if you want a cannabis cookbook and someone gives you a regular cookbook?

Turn lemons into lemonade and turn almost any sober cookbook into a canna-cookbook.

Here are five new and popular mainstream cookbooks: “Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook, ” “Smitten Kitchen Every Day, “Modernist Bread,” “Dinner in an Instant” and “BraveTart.”

Despite many of their stoner-friendly recipes — Pink Spaghetti and brownies, for Shiva’s sake — none of the hot-selling titles have anything to do with pot.

Until now.
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Banned in California But Legal in Your Kitchen

Here’s how to DIY cannabis gummies, 1,000-mg brownies and other newly illicit edibles at home.


Just gotta have pot gummy bears?

How about canna-butter?

Infused ice cream?

Boozy tincture?

Soda pop and energy shots containing caffeine?

Craving 1,000-mg brownies?

Forget about ‘em. Come Jan. 1, they’ll all be illegal in California medicinal dispensaries and adult-use pot shops under historic laws governing how the botanical herb is cultivated, manufactured, sold and consumed  in the Golden State.

This story will be about six banned edibles you can make legally at home.

Jeremiah Tower, Pot-Cuisine Pioneer (and America’s Original Celebrity Chef)

The progenitor of today’s love affair with food sassed his sultry soup with cannabis stems and seeds in the ‘60s, demonstrating an understanding of ingredients and effects.


Jeremiah Tower, America’s first and long-lost celebrity chef, is a cannabis-cuisine pioneer.

But you won’t learn that from watching “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” the fawning documentary film about the life, times, milestones and mysteries of the patrician progenitor of California’s 1970s culinary awakening who reigned over the rebirth of American gastronomy at the peak of the greed-is-good 1980s and retreated from the spotlight before the new millennium.

Raised abroad by wealthy absentee parents and weaned in cruise ships, hotels and boarding schools, Tower enthralled the Bay Area’s foodie elite and social cream with his impeccable palate, worldly glamour and handsome appetites for sex, cocaine and champagne, first at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and then at Stars in San Francisco. Lacking formal culinary training but brimming with brio, Tower splashed fresh, local ingredients with classic elan and dramatic sass. He burst from the kitchen into the dining room, popularizing the American brasserie and charming Americans into a love affair with food.

While America’s foodie cognoscenti — Martha Stewart, Ruth Reichl, Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain — gush about Tower’s theatric rise and fall, his enigmatic exile and his enduring importance in the culinary pantheon, “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” contains nary a mention of the pre-fame cannabis cuisine Tower cooked to entertain friends and stick it to The Man at Harvard University in the 1960s, which Tower himself addressed in his 2004 memoir, “California Dish: What I Saw (and Cooked) at the American Culinary Revolution.”

Reviews upon the book’s publication focused largely on Tower’s influence on California Cuisine and American regional cooking; his tempestuous relationship with Alice Waters, Tower’s former boss, lover and rival; and the personal and professional burnout that sent Tower into self-imposed exile in Mexico two decades ago.

But those reviews overlooked Tower’s contribution to cannabis cuisine: an infused consomme whose preparation and serving demonstrated the chef’s respect of his ingredients, including both their preparation and effects, and care for the people who enjoy his food.

Not only did Tower lay out the technique of heat-activating non-psychoactive THCA into psychoactive THC prior to steeping cannabis in fatty chicken stock (a vital step neglected by many, even Batali, who botched pot brownies last year), Tower deliberately front-loaded his infamous 1969 cannabis menu with an infused course whose effects kicked in as dessert was served, enhancing the enjoyment of the meal without debilitating diners.

And Tower did it with stems and seeds in an era before fancy full-flower extracts, fulfilling a chef’s highest calling: turning lowly ingredients into haute creations.

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Payton Curry Launching S.F. Pop-Up Restaurant as Chefs Shuffle Cannabis Projects


Payton Curry


The culinary industry is a small world. It gets even smaller when you bore into the cannabis cuisine industry.

Shortly after my profiles of cannabis cuisine superstars published on the San Francisco Chronicle’s I learned that one of the profiled chefs who was scheduled to cook last week at the NorCal Cannacuisine Gala had pulled out and was replaced by another chef I’d profiled.

Today I learned that another one of the chefs I profiled has replaced another one of the chefs I profiled, taking over a commercial kitchen and events space in San Francisco that was mentioned in my June 13 story.

The plot thickens like a good roux as Payton Curry’s plans for that kitchen and dining room on Folsom Street in the city’s pot-dense South of Market district include private cannabis-infused brunch and dinner events that give off a distinct waft of a pop-up test run for a full-fledged cannabis restaurant and impart notes of a community center for cannabis food businesses.

Curry’s concept is vegetable-forward, focused on low-dose THC infusions, plus use wellness-inducing but non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD and THCA.

Curry, who cheffed in Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco and St. Helena, called me today from Las Vegas, where he’s preparing to roll out Flourish, the edibles brand he launched last year in Arizona and this spring in California.

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Smoking Or No-Smoking? What’s the Proper Pot-and-Food Pairing?


What’s the proper way to pair cannabis and food?

In the food, infusing recipes with butter or oil prepared with cannabis for diners to experience and absorb as they eat?

Or perhaps with the food, introducing cannabis to diners’ senses of taste and smell in smoked form — a joint, a pipe, a bong delivering flavors, aromas and intoxicating elements that heighten the pleasure of food?

In reporting and compiling the profiles of 11 well-respected chefs working in the cannabis-food scene for this culinary opus on the San Francisco Chronicle’s new Green State website, I discovered there’s a disagreement among high-profile chefs pushing cannabis cuisine to haute heights.

One side says, “No Smoking.”

One side says, “Smoke — Taste the Plant with Your Food.”

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CBD cold-brew cannabis coffee stirs market with hemp, tech and international online sales

Nano technology turns therapeutic cannabinoid  into water-soluble crystals. Non-psychoactive beverage is packaged in sexy, single-serving containers. You can legally buy and drink Mary Jane Java worldwide. 


A new kind of cold-brewed cannabis-infused coffee is riding a wave that’s cresting beyond medical and recreational marijuana markets using hemp-derived CBD and cutting-edge technologies.

Mary Jane Java won’t get you any higher than a cup of Folgers.

But it might mellow out your caffeine jitters and an array of other ailments — legally around the world as it contains no THC and only CBD, the non-psychoactive botanical component in cannabis and hemp plants that induces mind-and-body relaxation, not trippy head highs.

You don’t need a doctor’s recommendation to drink Mary Jane Java, nor do you need to live in a recreational cannabis state to buy Mary Jane Java.

Mary Jane Java joins a host of easy-to-obtain CBD-infused food products, or edibles, sold online whose appearance and flavor resemble higher-octane THC-infused counterpart products sold in medical marijuana dispensaries and retail cannabis shops  — brownies, gummy candies, chocolates, popcorn and other snacks without intoxicating ingredients any stronger than sugar and caffeine.

Other CBD products, including sprays, lotion and hemp vapor oil, are sold online by major retailers like Walmart and

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Want Instant Pot Coffee? Drop These Dandy Caramel Candies Into Your Brew



The combination of cannabis and coffee is at once one of the oldest pleasures and one of the hottest new trends.

The old pleasure is a joint and a cup of coffee — the classic hippie highball. The new trend includes ready-to-drink cold brew coffees and single-brew K-cup pods infused with cannabis.

Looking for another dandy way to enjoy cannabis and coffee without paying $12 at a dispensary? Try candy.

Cannabis-infused caramel candy contains two great coffee enhancements — cream and sugar — plus a psychoactive jolt of THC. The best part is you can turn any coffee, from cheap old-school Folgers to expensive single-origin third-wave finca beans, into cannabis coffee with one drop — that drop being a piece of homemade cannabis-infused caramel candy.

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Mainstream Coffee Brand Jolts Cannabis Marketing

Oakland edibles startup and San Francisco micro-roaster brew cannabis industry’s first Intel Inside moment.


To aficionados who enjoy a caffeine buzz with their marijuana buzz, coffee and cannabis go together like cream and sugar and Cheech and Chong rolled into one energy-inducing, mind-altering jolt.

After decades of counterculture popularity, the classic java-and-a-joint combo, aka the Hippie Highball, has been re-booted in the modern age of legal weed.

Cannabis-infused single-brew coffee pods entered California’s medical cannabis edibles marketplace in 2015 but require K-Cup-style brewing machines and remain a novelty.

The more accessible 2017 pairing combines three red-hot trends — cold-brewed coffee, artisan cannabis concentrate and low-dose edibles — into a singularly robust concept that boasts the added kick of being the first example of a mainstream company lending its brand to a cannabis product.

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Know Your Brownies Before You Add the Pot

EDITOR’S NOTE:  National Brownie Day is Dec. 8. This article originally published in 2004. 

Simplicity isn’t always simple. Take brownies: A few pantry ingredients. A bowl or two. Some mixing. And into the oven. In less than an hour, you’re staring at a pan of deliciously humble baked chocolate.

But before you bite, wait.

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San Francisco Pot Task Force Urges Swift Actions on Licensing and Tourism


SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco’s Cannabis State Legalization Task Force was formed in January to prepare the city for cannabis legalization. Today, one day after California voted to legalize cannabis use by adults, the task force delivered preliminary recommendations urging the city to swiftly license cannabis businesses beginning in 2018.

“Prop. 64 creates a very specific state licensing scheme from seed to sale,” said Terrance Alan, chairman of the 22-member task force. “The response needs to be local and focus on how well local jurisdictions implement those license types.”

Alan said the task force is focused on land use, public safety and tourism. Business types include cannabis farms, processing and manufacturing facilities, testing labs, kitchens and cafes.

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Emerald Pot Pairing Tasting Notes

The Emerald Pot Pairing, held Saturday at a Humboldt County farm, showcased food, wine, beer, cider and cannabis from Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties in a convivial, country-chic atmosphere accented by dabs, tincture-spiked cocktails and a bluegrass band. In short, a perfect day for about 100 locals and visitors to mix, mingle and compare notes about the food, drinks and weed that The Emerald Magazine matched up for its second annual event.

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Fall-Harvest Pear-fection

Layers of cannabis in this seasonally on-fleek pear tart let bakers adjust potency without upsetting the recipe’s ratios.


Pear tart is a fall classic. Made with cannabis butter in both the chocolate crust and in the almond filling, my favorite fruit tart is the height of early autumn enhanced with a hidden layer of hashish caramel.

Here in California, Bartletts are the predominant pear. Millions are being picked in the Sacramento Delta right now, bound for grocery stores nationwide. Soft-fleshed Barts stoke the seasonal economy along with sun-grown bud in Lake County, in the hilly orchards north of Napa.

Many versions of pear tarts, from rustic to rarefied, can be found in all the glossy food-porn magazines, cable TV food circuses and Pinterest. Made with peak-season local pears and freshly harvested sun-grown cannabis, my autumn pear tart impresses and intoxicates.

You can adapt my approach to the recipe of your choice. My layering approach allows the flavors of the tart’s components — the chocolatey crust, the almondy filling, the herby caramel and, especially, the freshly harvested pears — to strut without  grassy cannabis interference.

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