Monday, April 11, 2011

Blending Weed & Wine & Beer & Liquor too!

At one of Chef Ashbell’s grand dinner parties in New York during the last century, Sommelier Society of America’s Chef Darrin responded to my question ‘I’ve used hemp and prayer, what about alcohol and prayer?’ He flashed one of his huge smiles and said ‘Why do you think they call it spirits?'.

The connection between marijuana and alcohol is legendary.  Many home enthusiasts are putting their best buds in alcohol, soaking it for 10 days or more, and enjoying the enhanced nectar. Hemp beer is a much sought after drink and the illusive hemp liquor is just beyond the reach of the US market, for now. 

The relatively new title of budtender is perfect for folks seeking to rise to the best of industry standards. The marijuana clubs are a $1.7 billion dollar industry, second only in sales to Viagra, even with the limited number of states where it's legal.  Marijuana colleges are budding up all over as described in the New York Times, Time Magazine and demonstrated by colleges like Oaksterdam University .

In an effort to stave off the projected food shortage, folks are working to raise awareness of hemp foods and beverages, i.e. Time4Hemp , Hippie Butter , VoteHemp and others.  Hemp alcohol and other recreational uses are part of that discussion.

Below are some questions, only a starter list, for consideration as we explore setting standards for hemp consumption / budtenders equal to that available to patrons of/& bar tenders and wine stewards.

1.  What is the best way to certify budtenders, i.e. the type that are currently serving at medical marijuana clubs? 

2.  What wines and beers go best with hemp foods –i.e. a hemp pasta dish under a bold red sauce?  Medical marijuana chocolate brownies go with which alcoholic beverage?

3.  What buds (see variety in clubs) stimulate the taste buds best, oral and elsewhere?

4.  What's the best wine and weed combos (or not combined) for parties, dining out, chillin’? 

5.  What about hemp in vodka and hemp beer , i.e. black hemp ale , ?

6.      What is a tincture and how is it made? 

7.  How do we empower new and existing companies to capitalize on this market?

These and other questions could expand the word Sommelier in this new century to include wine and bud stewards, specialists in the spirits found in the plants.

We have been the victims of the politics of scarcity for too long. Now is the time to break those chains and hemp is a great place to begin.  Consider supporting a simple executive order ending the drug war as we prepare for the return of sanity to government so we can all live the happiest lives possible. 

What do you think?

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