Photos courtesy of Ron Silver and Relevant Innovations
Almost 27 years ago, on Thanksgiving Day, Ron Silver swung open the doors of a new restaurant at Hudson and North Moore Street in Manhattan. Over the years, Bubby's has gained cultural clout with its simple, exceptional American food and pie. The company has expanded, too, including two locations in Manhattan and five across Japan.
And it's not like Silver is anywhere near done. The chef is busy plucking away on his new edibles business, Relevant Innovations, which debuted at Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo about a year ago. Besides hawking medicated foods like chocolate, Silver's offerings differ from others you'll find in any given edibles shop: his kick in fast. Like, 15-minutes-fast. MERRY JANE chatted with Silver about creating the fast-acting edibles, his love for painting, and how any stigma against edibles "can, well, go fuck itself."
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. (20mg) Relevant Innovations cannabis sugar
6 oz. water
Muddle juice of lemon with sugar. Add water. Pour over ice and enjoy.
MERRY JANE: Tell me about how your experience with Bubby's made way for developing Relevant Innovations.
Ron Silver: Two great passions in my life have been food and cannabis. The two have always gone hand-in-hand for me. As cannabis began to come out of the shadows, there was a natural inclination to want to figure out how to play. When I was in Las Vegas a couple of years ago, some friends and I were chatting about all of the different cannabis-related things they were chasing after and developing. Lack of controllability and low dosage of edibles came up in conversation and, after realizing how much of a problem that presented, I went home inspired to find a solution. That's been my driving force since then and is how Relevant Innovations was born.
Part of what makes Relevant Innovations different is its fast-acting womp of cannabis. Tell me why that aspect was important and how you nailed the specific formula.
One of the main problems with cannabis edibles is their unpredictability: A normal edible takes anywhere from 1-4 hours to kick in, and your body absorbs 2-6 percent before passing through. I started doing a lot of research, reading textbooks and theses online, and talking to CEOs of companies. I also had to experiment with various techniques — because of the quality of the oil that I was getting — to ensure I was creating something with an appealing texture and appearance.
I was able to get a jump on things, partly through my cooking skills and experience as a chef, partly through my research, and partly because I never hesitated to express my association with cannabis. That's what allowed me to develop the specific formula. Our edibles kick in in 15 minutes and your body absorbs between 15-20 percent. This is a real solution to the major problem with cannabis edibles. It's helpful and I'm sincerely into it.
You paint, too. How is creating visual art similar to creating edibles?
Creativity is something of a way of life, if you are fortunate enough to be in a situation that allows for that. Mostly, my days entail going from one creative moment to the next. Ideas will come to me and it's my job to execute them when I can, even if it might take a week, a month, or 10 years. My job is to produce beautiful things, whether that's a new dish or painting. With edibles, what I am making is a building block, cannabis sugars, and syrups, for other people to get creative with, whether that be putting it in your tea or coffee, cooking with it, or creating a cannabis cocktail.
How have you noticed the stigma surrounding edibles as well as cannabis as a whole change since you started RI?
I look at the stigma of cannabis as a racist policy. These policies, over decades, have hurt Americans as well as having a regressive impact on other societies around the world by using misinformation to squash tens of thousands of years of helpful medicinal discoveries and positive culture. Since starting RI, I have noticed more people embracing cannabis, and more willing to try it. Even more importantly, many people are realizing that when they need it, cannabis provides great relief for so many different ailments and that any stigma can, well, go fuck itself.
Tell me a little about the dish you're sharing with us today. How was it developed? How does it challenge norms in the edibles community?
Our operating tenet is a controlled dose. Cannabis is medicine, so it is important to know how much is being ingested. Cooking with cannabis is serious business since it is possible to take too much of it. This lemonade, made with our cannabis sugar, is delicious, easy to control, and will take effect faster than normal edibles.
For more on Relevant Innovations, visit the company's website here
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