ROCHESTER, Minn. â€“ A Cannabis chef is looking into opening a restaurant in Rochester. Rochester native Payton Curry is an award-winning chef who studied at the Culinary Institute of America. He now lives in Arizona where heâ€™s at the center of the cannabis dining arena. He operates a kitchen that stocks over 50 dispensaries in Arizona and California with high-end, healthful Cannabis edibles. Curry has also opened restaurants that specialize in using the cannabis plant in cuisine.
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â€śUtilizing the vegetable of cannabis instead of just using it to get stoned or get baked, weâ€™ve been using it as a supplement for people to carry on a non-toxic form of pain relief,â€ť Curry explains.
Some of the dishes he serves at his restaurants are infused with THC, which is the mind-altering compound of the Cannabis plant that produces a â€śhigh.â€ť THC is not legal in Minnesota or Iowa without a medical marijuana prescription. His vision for the Rochester restaurant is to utilize Cannabidiol or CBD as an ingredient. CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the Hemp plant that is legal. Curry likens it to non-alcoholic beer. This week he met with city leaders about this progressive restaurant concept.
â€śThey want to know, â€śwell, how do you know there isnâ€™t THC in it?â€ť and I told them yesterday I spent 20 years of my life making sure I was doing this right,â€ť Curry adds.
A growing number of people, like Curry, are finding CBD to be an alternative treatment for a number of medical conditions including anxiety, pain, arthritis, and insomnia. However, only one purported use for CBD has significant scientific evidence supporting it. Last month, the FDA approved the first drug comprised of CBD to treat severe forms of epilepsy. Other claims canâ€™t be backed by scientific evidence at this point.
â€śAnything that doesnâ€™t change the human experience or bring psychosis I feel is a vitamin or a supplement,â€ť Curry adds. â€śFor me as a cook, I like to go out there and try to educate.â€ť
Education is one of the purposes behind the facility Curry would like to open in Rochester. Other than the CBD restaurant, he envisions a â€śCannabis college,â€ť where classes can be held to teach people how to cook with and make products with the Hemp plant. At this point, he’s still looking into potential locations and meeting with city council members, the city attorney and planning and zoning.