Controversy Raised Over Pot-Infused Pizza in Vancouver, Canada

( [email protected] ) Apr 08, 2014 04:14 PM EDT
A pizzeria in Vancouver, Canada is now selling pizzas infused with marijuana and providing free vaporizers for patrons to smoke. The Vancouver community has responded with mixed feelings.

A restaurant in Vancouver has received mixed responses from the community over their marijuana-infused pizza.  For an extra $10, customers at Mega ILL restaurant can now order pot on their pizza --providing they are 18 and have a medical marijuana card.

Employee Anthony Risling explained the process of creating the pizza to CBC News. "Basically we infuse [pot] through an oil extraction process, where we drizzle the oil onto the pizza and it medicates you when you eat it," he said. "It's a little different effect from smoking it. It takes maybe about a half hour for it to activate." He states he believes Mega ILL is the only pizzeria in Canada to offer such a thing.

However, some community members are disturbed by the pot-pizza.

"It's a little discouraging to see marijuana use being promoted through restaurants," says Vancouver Pastor Eric Ross. "There are also very little restrictions on who has access to the pizza. Infusing pizza with pot essentially makes it recreational, taking away its credibility as a healing drug."  

Owners Rocky Tolfree and Mark Klokeid  are both cancer survivors who used medical marijuana during their treatment. Klokeid says pot continues to help him medically. "I need it regularly and I continue to get anti-cancer benefits. I don't use any other pain medication," he told the Sun, adding that he had wanted his restaurant to be a place where people like him could "vaporize and get a healthy meal."

The owners were inspired to create the pizza-which is made with all local and organic ingredients-- following a trip to Cambodia, where a pizzeria called Happy Pizza used a similar process to add THC to the pies. They describe their restaurant as "pot friendly;" patrons are encouraged to BYOC ("Bring Your Own Cannabis") and smoke the free vaporizers provided by the café.

"Marijuana has been used to heal so many ailments," said one customer, "why not add it to everyone's favorite food?"

However, the future of the controversial pot-infused pizza remains uncertain. New medical marijuana regulations that went into effect April 1rst could make it illegal for the café to sell their pizzas.

"We'll still be open regardless. We just might not be able to infuse the pizzas anymore," Risling said. "But we will still be open as a pizza place where people can come and medicate here.