Relaxed pot rules boost demand for "munchies"

Harold and Kumar were on to something: Marijuana and food are a natural pairing. And as marijuana use continues to gain acceptance around the country, more businesses are focusing on how food fits in.

Medical marijuana is allowed in 20 states and the District of Columbia. And recreational pot is allowed in Colorado and Washington, with more states looking closely at following suit.

In Colorado, the only state that allows recreational marijuana sales, several companies are exploring the relationship between food and pot. One catering company is developing a dinner series featuring a menu that "enhances" the experience. The food itself doesn't contain marijuana, The Denver Post reports, but it's designed to be stimulating to people who attend BYOC (that's bring-your-own-cannibis) parties.

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 The "munchies for foodies" menu includes blue cheese meatballs, chicken Parmesan lollipops and steak-jalapeno poppers, The Post reports. "Marijuana is not the new prescription drug, it's the new wine," organizer Jane West tells The Post. "It should be paired with meals."

That sentiment is shared by Hapa Sushi, a restaurant chain in Colorado offering a marijuana and sushi pairing menu. The food doesn't contain pot, and no smoking is allowed, The Daily Camera reports. But the company is clearly staking its claim as the place to go for grub when you're high. 

The pairing menu suggests a spicy shrimp in a chili pepper dipping sauce as an accompaniment to Pakistani Kush pot, for example. And katsu curry might go well with the Blue Dream strain of marijuana.

And then there are the companies that actually combine marijuana and food. A Denver supplier of marijuana edibles has seen so much business that it limits customers to only two products a day, The Denver Channel reports. The company, Dixie Elixirs, infuses chocolates, mints, sodas and lotions with marijuana.

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In Seattle, chefs competing in a "Cannabis Cup" competition for marijuana edibles last year produced truffles infused with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC -- the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis -- that also contained 23-karat edible gold leafing.

But the Seattle police department might have the best take on marijuana and pot. When officers there wanted to call attention to the state's marijuana rules at last year's Hempfest event, they enlisted the help of a tried-and-true classic: They stuck the rules on 1,000 bags of Doritos and handed them out for free.