A downtown Edmonton restaurant is preparing to introduce a unique culinary experience by offering cannabis-infused dishes and mocktails. CBD CBN, also known as Catering By Day, Catering By Night, will exclusively serve reservation-only fine dining, highlighting cannabis as its primary ingredient. Co-founded by mixologist James Mulholland and chef Stacey Mison, the restaurant aims to create a buzz in Edmonton with its innovative concept.
Mulholland expressed optimism about the venture, saying that they anticipate a high demand for our offerings, aiming to attract not only cannabis enthusiasts but also food connoisseurs. This distinctive menu is made possible through a collaboration with Token Naturals Ltd., a licensed cannabis producer headquartered in Edmonton. Token Naturals holds a Health Canada license for medical cannabis sales, processing, and research, enabling this groundbreaking culinary adventure.
Token Naturals has articulated its intentions to utilize its research license in collaboration with CBD CBN, facilitating the provision of cannabis-infused products to conduct research. It is worth noting that Token's license has recently been modified to encompass the restaurant's downtown establishment.
The restaurant's exceptional menu owes its existence to the partnership with Token Naturals Ltd., a licensed cannabis producer situated in Edmonton, as depicted in the image provided by Joëlle Bouchard/Radio-Canada. Keenan Pascal, CEO of Token Naturals, elaborated on the synergy, stating, "It represents a natural progression for our business, and we have discovered exceptional partners capable of enhancing the distinctive culinary experience. It's a harmonious partnership."
Located at 10130 105th St., the restaurant will fulfil the company's research requirements and allow patrons to embark on a cannabis-infused dining adventure, allowing them to "choose their own path," according to Pascal.
Pascal shared that he had prior knowledge of Mulholland and Mison's catering expertise before they approached his team with a proposal for a cannabis-centric restaurant. The Token Naturals team was enthusiastic about the idea and readily agreed to collaborate. "It all fell into place during a casual dinner conversation," Pascal remarked.
Research licenses, regulated by the federal Cannabis Act, enable companies to perform on-site research and sensory assessments of cannabis products, albeit within rigorous boundaries. Health Canada issued a statement indicating its intent to engage with Token Naturals to verify their intentions for a cannabis dining experience aligns with all federal regulations.
In a separate statement, a Health Canada representative pointed out that CBD CBN does not possess a research license, and serving restaurant patrons in this context necessitates approval from the department. In a subsequent interview, Mulholland expressed his intention to explore the necessary approvals before proceeding with the restaurant's launch.
Token Naturals has outlined stringent regulations for the meals. They will exclusively be available by reservation, with no walk-in service permitted. Diners will be mandated to sign a waiver and participate in post-meal surveys to gauge their dining experience. The research will primarily focus on product testing, with a keen interest in gathering feedback regarding customers' overall sensory encounters. Mulholland clarified that cannabis cannot be stored on the premises, and the invitation-only approach will ensure they have an adequate supply for each diner.
Notably, the food itself will not induce intoxication. While cannabis will be an ingredient, the THC component will remain inactive due to the absence of heat application. Mulholland explained that if anyone wishes to savor the culinary and cannabis flavors without concern for intoxication, they can do so. However, if they prefer to experience intoxication, it can be incorporated into their beverage.
Incorporating THC into mocktails allows diners to experience the effects in tandem with their meal rather than enduring a delayed onset of the high typically associated with edibles. The primary aim is not to get customers heavily intoxicated, clarified Mulholland. Creating these non-alcoholic beverages involves the use of bitters, as illustrated in the image by Joëlle Bouchard/Radio-Canada.
Mulholland aspires to introduce patrons to the unique flavor profiles inherent in cannabis and hopes they will consume just enough to enhance their dining experience. He explained that cannabis boasts many captivating flavors, and they approach it as a herb and flavor enhancer.
Terpenes, which are aromatic compounds present in cannabis, can yield an array of flavors, including pepper, mango, and citrus, according to Mulholland.
Mulholland explained that their cuisine would have a much more herb-like taste, unlike the stereotypical weed brownie that often carries a strong weed flavor.
For example, he mentioned that a cannabis strain known for its earthy qualities, enhanced with truffle flavor, could be incorporated into a potato chip to create a more delectable experience.
After losing his job in the hospitality industry during the pandemic, Mulholland transitioned into the management of cannabis retail stores. During this time, he initiated a collaboration with Mison, who harbored a strong interest in entering the realm of cannabis catering.
Mulholland expressed that the restaurant is a pioneering venture in Edmonton with no precedent of its kind. He envisions it as a gateway to a fresh market and aspires to position Edmonton as a hub for cannabis tourism. He remarked that they certainly aim to be the trailblazers, with the hope that many more will follow.
In conclusion, the advent of a cannabis-infused fine dining experience in downtown Edmonton represents an innovative foray into uncharted culinary territory. The collaborative efforts of Token Naturals, a licensed cannabis producer, and the vision of entrepreneurs James Mulholland and Stacey Mison have led to the creation of CBD CBN. In this restaurant, cannabis takes center stage, not only in its offerings but also in its research-driven approach.
With strict adherence to regulatory measures, a dedication to exploring the sensory dimensions of cannabis, and an emphasis on taste profiles that transcend the stereotypical "weed" flavor, this restaurant strives to revolutionize the cannabis culinary experience. Being the inaugural establishment of its kind in Edmonton, it aspires to establish a precedent that could catalyze a thriving market within the city, possibly establishing Edmonton as a central hub for cannabis tourism.
The trajectory of CBD CBN serves as a testament to the constantly evolving landscape of the cannabis industry, marked by a ceaseless drive for innovation and fruitful collaborations that continually broaden the horizons of what's achievable in fine dining. As this venture continues to evolve, it remains to be seen whether it will genuinely be the pioneer of many more to come in an emerging culinary trend.