The March Hare Dinner was definitely a first time event for me, as well of one of the first events of it's kind: a cannabis tasting & pairing event. Usually you hear of chefs creating plates and courses based off of wines or other vices, but cannabis? It was surely going to be an interesting night...
The only reason I ended up knowing about this event was due to this new website and forum, Cannabiz Calendar. It's basically a weekly newsletter that helps fill your schedule with cannabis industry events. Since it's a relatively new industry, it's hard to find out - on a large scale - about cannabis related things... but this free newsletter / service puts everything together in one place so you can grow your network and find opportunities. (You can sign up for free and find out about events going on in your area.) I'd say this event made quite the first impression... in that I trust anything that calendar tells me is going on in the industry.
The place was filled with beautiful decorations, snacks, and samples. The table was adorned with 'Alice and Wonderland' themed embellishments and accessories - from the glassware to the napkins - everything was fancy and perfect.
With free drinks and free dabs, there was a very real calmed and relaxed vibe to the event. Walking around the event space we were encouraged to mingle and network, all the while selecting your choice of THC chocolate or picking up a hand-crafted free drink from the bar. There were THC cupcakes and THC coffee samples, a live band, and oh yeah: A FREE DAB BAR. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
Literally a bar just like for drinks, except for the dab or your choice. The classic 'eat me' and 'drink me' motifs were saved from Alice and Wonderland - but also added to the mix was: 'smoke me', a very clever move. Also available to the dab bar were free glass joints ... what's a glass joint you might ask? It's a beautiful and simple design that is easy to pack and unpack, and because it's made of glass there is no paper taste, or smoke, or ash. A sustainable joint, one could say.
It's quite the phenomenon to be safely smoking in public. As a person in their twenties, who's never grown up with parents or adults that didn't condemn smoking... I have to say it's really weird but also highly cool to take dabs with people of all age groups. The room was so dimly comfortable with a richly vintage aesthetic.
That being said, the ambiance was low-key and very chilled out. It's a great testament to how easy going the flow of people and personalities can be when everyone is getting stoned rather than getting drunk. It makes you wonder how the world at large could operate if this kind of thing wasn't seen as malicious. I then start to wonder why smoking weed is considered malicious to begin with, especially in such a peaceful, public environment.
After everyone was adequately high, we all sat down at our assigned seats to learn about how the chef specially designed each meal around specific cannabis strains. Before each course (there were 4 including dessert) we were supposed to smoke the strain so that we could understand the pairing between the feeling of cannabis and the true senses in eating. I'm not talking about some TV dinner, late-night snack type of munchies dinner.. this shit was high-end.
The chef had a whole crew helping him prepare and design each meal. Each meal was to represent each strain, crafting the plates after smoking the strain. The meals were modeled around the feeling one gets out of different types of cannabis. The first meal was as light as the strain was, a feeling of 'light orange' bliss found in a high percentage sativa bud. The second course was a bit more mellow, not as light but definitely not a heavy meal; echoed in the high I could feel from the hybrid. Then came dinner, a completed meal in the way that it felt heavy like a conclusion. The bud for this course was heavy as well, an indica strain. This pairing was my favorite because I truly could taste the 'full' feeling through both the food and the weed; everything was calming and sort of 'dark purple' to me (an indica color). Dessert was in my opinion an indica heavy hybrid. We moved through all the strains from high to low, and you could feel the same in the weight of the food.
It was so interesting to look down the table and see people laughing, talking, drinking, and smoking. Glass ashtrays and joints were just as plentiful as wine glasses and second forks. It's nice to be in an environment where everyone is on the same page, where stoners can still be sophisticated, where the words professional and cannabis can exist together in the same sentence.
I'm so glad that I was a part of this very new and very unique event. I'm glad to be in a state where this kind of thing can actually be a thing. However regardless of state, the people are what really make this kind of thing happen. The night felt like we traveled through an Alice in Wonderland worm-hole into an elegant evening from the 1920's.
At the end of the day this event and it's delicacies would have been nothing without Jasmine, the woman behind Curious Appetites - the company that hosted the event. Among the vendors that were giving away cannabis themed samples, I have to say the coolest thing I've seen in a while were the glass joints or 'duggies' by @lilduggyco.
Needless to say I'm going to the next one for sure!