And here we thought we’ve already heard everything!
Health inspectors in Maine are said to be investigating a restaurant that tried to sedate lobsters with marijuana before killing and cooking them for customers.
Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound located in Southwest Harbor has stopped serving diners who order meat from lobsters that have been smoked over with weed. The restaurant, however, remains open.
The restaurant’s owner, Charlotte Gill, is a state-licensed medical cannabis caregiver. According to her, blowing cannabis smoke over the lobsters is intended to lessen their suffering before they are dropped in a pot of boiling water, cracked, then eaten.
Gill is hoping that she can resume serving “smoked” lobsters to customers.
Health inspectors still do not know whether weed smoke really sedates and calms the lobsters, and whether the practice has any effect on the lobsters’ meat.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson, Emily Spencer, did not say whether the state had ordered Gill to stop selling her smoked lobsters.
However, Gill told the Press Herald that after reviewing the state’s present laws and codes that are applicable to their business and their practice, and after making some minor adjustments to their process, they are very confident that they will be able to continue with their sales as planned. She said they are confident that they will be able to field issues that the government may have with them.
According to Gill, these issues are important and can benefit not just the lobsters but also the industry. She further explained that they are not trying to go against the wishes of the state and would love to work with them in order to make “this world a kinder place.”
Whether or not Gill was using cannabis in an appropriate manner is up to the Maine Medical Marijuana Program, Spencer said.
While he could not confirm if the MMMP was indeed investigating the lobster restaurant, program spokesperson David Heidrich said that medical cannabis may only be cultivated and administered to people with a prescription from a qualified medical professional. Lobsters, according to him, “are not people.”
Cannabis in Maine
Medical cannabis is legal in Maine. The state’s medical marijuana law was passed in 1999, which allows patients to grow their own cannabis plants.
Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2016 through a ballot initiative. Retail sales commenced early this year.
In November 2017, Maine Governor Paul LePage had vetoed a bill to regulate and tax recreational marijuana sales, citing conflicts with the federal law. However, the state legislature overturned this veto on May 2, 2018, thereby allowing the bill to become law.