An adult-use dispensary nestled in a tiny Arizona town is serving weed-infused burgers, street tacos, and pizza to happy stoners every day of the week.
Mint Cannabis, a legal dispensary chain that operates several locations in Arizona, opened the state's first legal cannabis kitchen in the sleepy town of Guadalupe, near Tempe. At first glance, the Guadalupe location seems to be a traditional dispensary, staffed with budtenders and stocked with flower, vapes, and edibles. But this location is also home to the Mint Cafe, a full-service food counter that sells made-to-order infused meals and snacks for take-out.
The eatery serves up a small variety of stoner-friendly options, including burgers, pizza, street tacos, wings, and fries. Customers can choose exactly how lit they want to get by selecting 25, 50, or 100mg of THC per entree. Infused baked goods are on the menu, too, and the cafe even baked some infused treats for Star Wars day last week. The company has also been hosting regular free taco Fridays at all of its local dispensary locations this year, but the free tacos are of the unmedicated variety.
“We try to push the envelope," said Mint co-owner Raul Molina to the Phoenix New Times. "We get told by a lot of the cannabis guys, ‘You can't do that.’ Then we try it, and it works.”
Mint Cafe proudly holds the title of Arizona's first legal cannabis kitchen, and may even take the crown for the first legal infused eatery in the entire US. The dispensary initially began selling infused foods to medical marijuana patients back in 2018, before Arizona even legalized adult-use cannabis. But after recreational sales kicked off in 2021, Mint was able to expand its offerings beyond the medical market. And as soon as they opened up that menu, the eatery saw a massive surge in business.
“Now that rec is here, we have doubled the staff," Molina told the Phoenix New Times. "It caught the kitchen by surprise. We knew we’d get an uptick, something around double, but the kitchen actually was more like quadruple. Everyone wants the pizza. In one day, all 300 pizzas were gone.”
Mint Cafe may be one of the world's first legal cannabis kitchens, but it certainly won't be the last. Weed-friendly dining restaurants have popped up in Los Angeles and Nashville, and cannabis cuisine is quickly becoming a cultural staple in Thailand. Most of the chefs preparing the menus for this first wave of weed restaurants have dreamed up their own concoctions, but major culinary schools are now teaching the next wave of pot restaurateurs how to infuse cannabis into delicious meals safely.