The Clever Root

Spring 2018

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s p r i n g 2 0 1 8 | 8 1 "From a guest standpoint, a sanitation standpoint, and a health standpoint on how we clean the rigs and equipment, all of the stipulations are the same as in the mainstream food and bever- age space. It's also about how you want to treat your guests and make people feel at home. It's all the same, but we're facing different challenges in the cannabis industry. It would be a lot easier to open a bar," admits Mieure with a laugh. While legislation state by state continues to muddle through how and where cannabis can be consumed outside of a private home, the industry has responded with a series of cannabis parties that shine a light on this issue more than ever. "These events are showing us the next trends in cannabis hospitality," says Mieure. "You can have as much amazing interaction with your guests as you like, but if your serving standards aren't be- ing safe, your guests aren't being safe. As cannabis has become more mainstream, it's being perceived as less risky, and while cannabis will not kill you and I believe it is a healing herb, there are side effects, and it is important that we recognize that there are safer ways to consume cannabis." With this in mind, Mieure, Koop, and Kelly have come togeth- er to create SCORE certification, which stands for Social Con- sumption Operations and Regulatory Education, and is loosely modeled on the widely used TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) certification in the hospitality industry. "This is purely an event and hospitality-facing training," explains Mieure. "We are looking at the hospitality workers in the food space, F&B workers, hotel workers, and people that serve can- nabis at events. We see that there is a lot of crossover in these two industries and want to create self-regulatory standards." The SCORE certification program is available online for can- nabis hospitality workers in Colorado, with plans to roll out a California version in coming months, but here's a sneak peek of the tips and topics SCORE will cover. SCORE 101: CANNABIS HOSPITALITY TIPS AND INSIGHT FROM ANDREW MIEURE Tolerance and Tolerance Projection: A lot of times, budtenders think that if they can handle something, their guest can handle it as well. But how does a Denver budtender who consumes cannabis regularly know what a guest from Missouri can handle? There are a lot of nuances in how the body processes THC, so micro-servings, serving caps, and consumption timelines are key. Edible Cannabis Serving Guidelines: The first thing to note when talking about eating cannabis is that it's not the same as smoking it, because it is actually a different drug. The Delta 9 THC you con- sume when you smoke cannabis differs from the 11-Hydroxy THC you're ingesting when you're eating cannabis. It will be much stron- ger, long-lasting, and have a delayed onset that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to six hours to take effect. As a result, it is impor- tant to have a serving size, just like you would with alcohol, regard- less of what guests may tell you about their individual tolerance. Just like bartenders will judge how much a guest has consumed and serve them accordingly, cannabis hospitality professionals cannot let guests determine their servings. Set and Setting: Guests may think that they can eat as many edibles or smoke as much as they do at home, but people can have averse reactions to THC in public spaces. There are also some foods you'll want to watch out for that can impact the way your body digests THC; mango, chocolate that's 70 percent or higher cacao, walnuts, Omega 3 fatty acids, hemp seeds, and broccoli all have terpenes that can affect your high. Sanitization Standards: I've been to events in Denver where they'll have glass pieces and guests will use the same piece back to back. HPV and other viruses can be spread orally, but I'm more worried about the flu—which can be deadly—and I don't want anyone dying from taking a bong rip. It might be an extreme outlook, but we have to be very conscious of what we're doing when we're serving can- nabis and be as clean as possible. We also want to make sure the product being served is tested and pesticide- and mold-free. Educate the Guest: There are a lot of guests out there who don't know how to safely consume cannabis, so the cannabis hospitality industry has the responsibility to teach them. We need education and standardized, specific ways to serve people, and we have to be cautious. As much as the cannabis industry wants to call me a whistle blower or an alarmist, it is a psychoactive substance, and as servers we have to be responsible because we could also be liable. If somebody gets seriously injured because you're not using basic standard serving practices, the servers can be liable, and there are no guidelines or court precedence in place for these situations. Andrew Mieure's Top Shelf Budtending uses high-end practices at cannabis events to ensure that guests consume safely. PHOTO: THE LOST ANGELENO ■cr

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