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The Latest Food Truck Theme Is Marijuana For Lunch

The MagicalButter food truck is called The Samich.
Courtesy of MagicalButter
The MagicalButter food truck is called The Samich.

Food trucks have been steadily multiplying in cities across the country for a few years now. So their collision with the brave new world of marijuana edibles — from brownies to gummy candy — was probably inevitable, at least in the states where the drug is now legal.

In late April, a company called MagicalButter unveiled the country's first food truck specializing in pot-infused eats at Denver's Cannabis Cup. MagicalButter, based in Seattle, already sells a machine of the same name that extracts nutrients and other chemicals from herbs for use in food.

The truck, called The Samich, rolls with a mascot: a flying, smiling stick of green butter. Yep.

On the Samich menu at the Cannabis Cup were peanut butter and jelly, pulled pork and grilled cheese sandwiches along with tomato soup. Each dish contained oil, butter or cheese infused with THC, the mind-altering chemical in marijuana.

"[The food truck] gives a good platform to educate people about how to eat with cannabis, finding out what works, what might not work," Garyn Angel, CEO of Magical Butter, tells The Salt. "It's a non-threatening way for people to discover if it helps them at all."

The truck's Colorado debut was more marketing ploy than true launch. After serving the festival goers in Denver, the truck headed back to Washington state, which is just starting to tax and regulate recreational weed sales. It's now parked near the company's headquarters, but there are plans to develop a fleet to spread the spiked lunch items to other cities.

MagicalButter Executive Chef Joey Galeano works in the food truck.
/ Courtesy of MagicalButter
Courtesy of MagicalButter
MagicalButter Executive Chef Joey Galeano works in the food truck.

The truck's timing is apt. While Colorado's experiment in recreational marijuana closes in on the six-month mark, lawmakers are tightening rules for the rapidly growing edibles market. New rules will limit the potency of foods infused with THC and require companies to explicitly label edible products.

Cooking with cannabis can be a tricky feat because it's easy to overdo it, Angel says. MagicalButter's chef controls for potency and dosage, making sure that grilled cheese doesn't deliver too much of a punch, he says.

"We have to work on [these things] to make sure no one has an experience they're uncomfortable with," Angel says.

Overindulging in THC-laced treats can lead to stomach aches, headaches, vomiting and day-long highs, according to Colorado Public Radio. Doctors in Colorado say more people are now being admitted to the emergency room after consuming large quantities of edible marijuana treats.

Angel of MagicalButter says the food truck is just one of his pot-infused culinary ventures. He is exploring a line of cookbooks and the company is planning to back a brick and mortar restaurant in Seattle that serves pot-infused fare with a tentative opening date in June or July.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

As KUNC’s reporter covering the Colorado River Basin, I dig into stories that show how water issues can both unite and divide communities throughout the Western U.S. I produce feature stories for KUNC and a network of public media stations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada.