With eight US states having legalised the recreational use of cannabis, winemakers in America are exploring the idea of weed and wine pairings.
As reported by The Times, a Wine & Weed Symposium will take place in California this August discussing how recreational cannabis use could positively impact on the wine industry and the ways the two industries can work together.
The symposium will explore the ways that grape growers and cannabis producers can co-exist and collaborate, as well looking at regulations, licensing, hospitality and tourism.
Winemaker and marijuana lover Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote the script for The Karate Kid, believes weed is “a companion piece” to wine.
“There are different flavours and bouquets to good weed, and different strains that elicit different effects. There are real body highs and real stony highs, and there are highs that are cerebral and ethereal,” he told The New York Times.
“There are levels of socialising that can be enhanced or inhibited, depending on the strength and the amount you smoke,” he added.
Food and wine writer Tina Caputo doesn’t believe the legalisation of cannabis poses a threat to the wine industry.
“People are trying to say that there is a threat but I haven’t talked to any wine industry person yet who actually sees it that way. There’s room in people’s lives for both,” she told The Times.
In March, Sam Edwards of The Sonoma Cannabis Company launched wine and weed pairing events matching everything from marijuana pesto and cannabis flowers with local wines.
The San Francisco Chronicle has appointed a cannabis editor, David Downs, while The Denver Post in Colorado already has a weed editor on its masthead.
“Cannabis has the potential to be more mainstream and be reviewed like wine or beer or other consumables at a high level with a discerning and independent perspective,” Downs told The Times.
California legalised recreational use of marijuana last November. Medicinal cannabis use is allowed in 28 states and Washington DC – over half the country.
Like wine, marijuana reflects the terroir in which it’s grown. The industry is already splitting off into mass-produced weed grown indoors and high-end marijuana that expresses a sense of terroir.