Twin Cities restaurants are adding THC-infused drinks to their menus.
Driving the news: The Howe, Red Wagon Pizza and and World street food are among more than half a dozen local places that now offer mind-altering drinks to restaurant patrons.
State of play: Local breweries and other beverage producers began releasing seltzer and other non-alcoholic beverages with up to 5 mg of THC this summer, following a new state law legalizing hemp-derived edibles. .
What they say : Craft & Crew Hospitality introduced THC seltzers from Indeed and Modist breweries to its six Twin Cities restaurants about two weeks ago, co-owner Luke Derheim told Axios.
- The restaurants, which include The Howe, The Block and Duke’s on 7th, have already gone through the “vast majority” of what Derheim described as major purchases.
- “It’s really moving,” he said. “People are just more curious about it.”
Yes and: Coffee shops are also following the trend. Mitchell O’Brion of Milkweed says the store has already gone through several cases of “very, very popular” specialty THC drinks, which it sells for $10.
What they see: So far, most customers who order THC drinks stick to one or two of these drinks, instead of alternating with beer or hard liquor, Derheim says.
- “We are seeing a big shift with people who are really gravitating towards [non-alcoholic] NA cocktails and drinks,” he says. “We see this as sort of an extension of the non-alcoholic category.”
Between the lines: The new law was quietly passed by the legislature last spring without many rules regulating the products, leaving local authorities and businesses to navigate a “wild west” state of legalization.
- While the Pharmacy Board the guidelines suggest that restaurants cannot prepare THC-infused products themselves for the onsite consumption site, they can serve the prepackaged cans, according to state guidelines.
Yes, but: Derheim says the uncertainty prompted Craft & Crew to do additional due diligence before launching the drinks, such as checking with their insurance agent and adding additional staff training.
- The restaurant group’s current policy is to sell no more than three THC drinks per customer.
To note : Craft and Crew’s restaurants can also sell the drinks to go, as they don’t. contain alcohol, says Derheim.
What to watch: The Bar Draft House, a bar owned by Craft & Crew in Hastings, plans to start selling THC gummies soon. Derheim sees its offerings expand to include desserts and other prepackaged items from there.
- “I think it’s going to become quite prevalent in the next quarter,” he says.