Mr. Nice Guy cannabis cocktail

Cannabis cocktail finds a path through legal limbo — for now

A San Diego restaurant uses cannabidiol oil in its Mr. Nice Guy drink

California’s bill allowing recreational marijuana use doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2018, but a San Diego restaurant is getting ahead of the game with a cannabis cocktail.

Madison on Park recently rolled out the Mr. Nice Guy, an $18 cocktail made with mezcal, matcha, pineapple, coconut milk and lime. The shaken cocktail also includes dashes of cannabidiol, or CBD, oil.

Danny Kuehner, Madison on Park’s bar manager, said the CBD oil used is derived from hemp and doesn’t get users high. That effect comes from the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in marijuana.

CBD is said to have medicinal uses for suppressing seizures, reducing nausea and vomiting, combating psychosis, reducing inflammation, and for symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders and cancer, he said.

The CBD oil used in the Mr. Nice Guy also has the earthy flavor of hemp, and a hemp leaf is used as garnish.

“You get a little CBD, but also the pineapple, the smokiness of the mezcal. The matcha gives texture and mouthfeel and the coconut tones down the acidity and sweetness,” Kuehner said.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is trying to clarify hemp’s status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which would make it illegal as a recreational product, although that has been challenged by the hemp industry. The ongoing court case is likely to determine whether bars can use ingredients like hemp-derived CBD in cocktails.

Keuhner, meanwhile, said the restaurant’s lawyers have given the all-clear to serve it. The cocktail has been a top seller, he said.

“We’re going to serve it until the lawyers tell us we can’t,” he said.

Contact Lisa Jennings at Lisa.Jennings@penton.com

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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