SOQUEL, Calif. – Smoke a bowl or eat a bowl (of ice cream)?
That’s the question at a new medical marijuana dispensary, where half pints of Banannabis Foster and Straw-Mari Cheesecake marijuana-infused ice creams sell alongside more run-of-the-mill bags of pot.
There’s no consumption on site, of course, but card-carrying marijuana patients have the choice at the new Creme De Canna in Soquel, Calif., of buying and taking their medication home to puff on or enjoy with dessert.
Proprietor Jonathan Kolodinski says it’s got three flavors of ice cream now, but others are on the way.
“It’s been my passion to make medical marijuana not only highly effective, but deliciously amazing,” said Kolodinski, who opened his marijuana collective across the street from Dominican Hospital this week. “I’ve wanted to bring my product line to the market for a long time.”
Marijuana ice cream is not new. Recipes have passed back and forth between pot users since at least the ’60s and directions for an untold number of flavors abound on the Internet. But commercial sale of the product is in its infancy, and prospects for this and other marijuana products loom large as California voters decide the legality of pot, beyond just prescription users, this November.
“This is just a drop in the bucket, what we’re seeing right now,” said Steve Kubby, national director of the American Medical Marijuana Association.
Kubby, who is developing his own pot products like a marijuana lozenge, says legalization of the drug under Proposition 15 would only hasten an already growing marketplace for marijuana.
Before Kolodinski opened his dispensary on Paul Sweet Road, he began selling his pre-packaged ice cream at a handful of other dispensaries and earning positive reviews.
“People like it,” said Nancy Black, aka Granny Purps, who carries the ice cream at her namesake collective on 41st Avenue. “First of all, it’s ice cream – and who doesn’t love ice cream? Secondly, it has a manageable amount of medication in it and you don’t taste it.”
Black says old-time pot smokers, remembering bad-tasting brownies of the past, have a misconception that marijuana tastes bad. That’s no longer the case, she says.
Kolodinski says opening his dispensary was a natural next step for promoting his ice cream.
“We’re now in a unique place to share our products,” he said, noting that he’ll soon add sorbets and vegan options to the ice cream lineup.
The ice cream, which comes in half-pint containers marked by a slick logo and marijuana leaf, sells for $15. According to the label, it contains “2 to 4 doses.”
Creme De Canna is just the latest of at least a half dozen marijuana dispensaries and numerous delivery businesses and private collectives that have opened in Santa Cruz County, Calif..
County Supervisor John Leopold, who was not available to comment last week, is pursuing a county ordinance to regulate the marijuana retailers. He hopes to introduce the measure this fall.