Culture

America’s First Marijuana Cafe Opened In LA And The Reviews Are Sky High

This week, West Hollywood’s first Cannabis Café opened up for business. Marijuana retail giant, Lowell Farms, is opening up it’s doors in WeHo as a restaurant and bar, slash lounge, and shop, that offers the country’s first “farm-to-table experience for both cuisine and cannabis”. 

Unfortunately, none of the food will be infused with cannabis —but you’ll be able to smoke it or vape it.

LowellCafe / Instagram

There won’t be any cannabis in the actual food, because state laws prohibit the sale of food infused with cannabis. Instead, the dishes on the menu will complement the various strains of cannabis that will be for sale. You’ll be able to smoke your weed or vape it, and mix it with the food on the menu, kind of like you pair food with wine. Lowell Farms is a functional restaurant with servers and a special air-filtration system that sucks up and filters the smoke from the weed people will be smoking everywhere. 

Upon arrival you’ll be greeted by a “budtender”, who will be your cannabis guide.

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The budtender will help you on your cannabis experience and will help personalize your order. Additionally you will also have a server who will get your food and nonalcoholic beverages—there’s no booze for sale because of state laws. The menu has all the classic café offerings; salads, sandwiches, avocado toast, mac n cheese bites and vegan nachos to name a few options. Chef Andrea Drummer was inspired by the different flavor profiles in the strains of cannabis, so each dish will be accompanied by a suggested product to smoke or vape.

According to the LA Times, the opening menu includes “miso-glazed pork belly, jalapeño mac and cheese bites, vegan nachos, sticky tamarind wings, house-made pickles and avocado and white bean hummus.”

The cannabis menu though, is much more extensive. 

LowellCafe / Instagram

Restaurant director Kevin Brady compared the cannabis menu with a wine list, in that all products are seasonal and rich in their own way. Most of them will be supplied by the Lowell Farms organic cannabis farm in Santa Barbara—the parent company behind the restaurant, and they’re not cheap. A single-strain pre-roll can set you back between $18 and $30. And if you’re looking for something a little stronger, there’s also a “Dab Bar” which is essentially where you’ll find stronger weed for the experienced consumer.

The Do’s and Don’ts at Lowell Farms Café.

LowellCafe / Instagram

West Hollywood created eight cannabis consumption licenses. And according to the restaurant, Lowell Farms was granted the very first one —out of more than 300 applicants. Which makes this restaurant, the first business of its kind in the U.S. and as such, there are a few new rules set in place to keep things running smoothly. The café will be open until 2am with a last call for cannabis at 9:50pm —unless pre-ordered and pre-paid, in which case you’ll be able to enjoy your purchases until close. The space is 21 and older, and you’ll need to bring a drivers license, passport or valid ID if you plan on purchasing any weed. Oh, and payment for cannabis will only be accepted in cash —though you can pay for food and drink with credit or debit cards. You may smoke and vape both inside the dining room and the patio but not on any front-facing outdoor area. 

You’ll be able to smoke or consume edibles you bring from your own personal collection for a small “tokage” fee, similar to a corkage fee, of $40. Taking unfinished cannabis products home is not allowed, but you can take your food leftovers though. You can either bring your own bongs or pipes, or you can rent one from the restaurant. And you’ll be able drink beer or wine only on the front patio —once the restaurant secures a license.

If you want to take some products home, there’s even a little shop.

LowellCafe / Instagram

Resembling a dispensary area that will offer edibles, vapes, concentrates and buds. Another great thing about this café is that Lowell’s has made a policy of hiring people who have served time for nonviolent cannabis-related crimes (as advertised on a billboard on the side of the freeway: “Pot Offenders Wanted“). 

Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe opens on October 1 at 1201 N La Brea Ave, with hours of 10am-2am daily.

A Viral Video Captured A Mouse Jumping Into Deep Fryer At A Whataburger In Texas And We’re Ready To Puke

Culture

A Viral Video Captured A Mouse Jumping Into Deep Fryer At A Whataburger In Texas And We’re Ready To Puke

It’s all fun and games until you see rodents running around some of your favorite restaurants. Once that happens, it’s game over and you can’t unsee it nor can you trust that food establishment ever again probably. Sure, it’s fun to crack jokes and make memes about rodent-infested restaurants once a viral photo or video make rounds, but if you really think about it… it’s pretty freaking disgusting. 

On Saturday, a Facebook user identified as Brushawn Lewis uploaded a video of a mouse crawling around a Whataburger counter in Bastrop, Texas. 

The rat can be seen walking around the corner, surrounded by seasoning and what looks like curly fries, near the deep fryers.

https://www.facebook.com/bigdaddyshawn87/videos/2376881522359167

During the recording of the video, you can hear other customers (aside from Brushawn Lewis) calling it “disgusting” and “nasty,” in complete shock that there’s a mouse hanging out near where their food was cooked. Who knows how long this was going on for, before the recording of the video, because no employee at Whataburger tries to intervene just yet. Instead, one employee announces to everyone in the Bastrop, Texas location that customers can get their money back with proof of receipt. 

Finally, a customer steps up to the plate, walks behind the counter, and tries to catch the mouse with her bare hands.

(Photo Credit: Screenshot from Brushawn Lewis Facebook video)

As the woman finally though she got a hold of the mouse to capture it, it jumped up and fell into the deep fryer. As soon as that happened, everyone in the Whataburger went nuts. “Who wants a deep-fried rat?” you can hear someone saying. After a couple of minutes inside the deep fryer, someone else went behind the counter to try and save the mouse but at this point, it looks like it might be too late. Then finally, an employee tried to make an attempt at turning off the deep fryer. 

“I’ve seen it all,” Lewis, the man who posted the video on Facebook, said turning the camera to himself. Yup, we’re right there with you.

Quickly, the video went viral and everyone on Twitter started making memes out of the poor, now deep-fried, mouse.

“Imagine being a mouse and waking up in a mouse paradise like Whataburger, only to have your day end by boiling alive like a Protestant living under Mary I of England,” one Twitter user said. 

Of course, someone had to make a Ratatouille joke. 

Well, I guess now we’ll never know because that poor mouse is most likely dead. 

So, are y’all going back to eat at Whataburger anytime soon? 

It’s a tough one, but you can’t unsee that video. We’re pretty disgusted. 

According to Eater Austin, Brushawn Lewis told KVUE that everyone who was dining at that Whataburger location when the incident happened received a refund. His viral video has since gotten over 2.1 million views, over 77,000 shares, and 1,300 comments. 

Whataburger also commented on the video Lewis posted on Facebook with the following statement

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. At Whataburger, cleanliness and food safety are top priorities for us. In this instance, we closed the restaurant out of an abundance of caution and notified pest control. The entire restaurant has since been cleaned and sanitized. We addressed this situation as quickly as possible, reinforcing procedures with our Family Members. While we’ll continue to be very diligent, it’s important to know there was no history of this type incident at this unit and there is no ongoing issue. A member of our team would like to reach out and address any concerns. Can you please share your contact information with us?” 

According to Gizmodo, the statement above has since been removed by Whataburger but it’s unclear as to why they removed it. 

Since closing down to sanitize that specific Whataburger location, the restaurant has now reopened and it’s back to their scheduled programming. 

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio-based company has more than 800 locations with more than 670 being in Texas and a few more in Oklahoma, Arizona, Florida, and Georgia. We hope the Bastrop Whataburger has been the only affected by this rodent infestation. 

Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen news of a mouse making an appearance at a fast food joint or restaurant. Earlier this summer in June, it was reported that a woman (traveling from Texas) said a rat fell from the ceiling at a Buffalo Wild Wings location in Los Angeles. 

A photo of the dead rat falling from the ceiling onto her table also made rounds on social media after it was posted. According to the woman, a manager quickly scooped up the rat with two plates and dumped it into a bag. But even then, that wasn’t the L.A. welcome she was hoping for. 

Have you ever witnessed or experienced something like this? Let us know in the comments below! 

Mexican Marijuana Traffickers Are Behind The Poisoning Of California Forests Caused By A Banned Pesticide

Things That Matter

Mexican Marijuana Traffickers Are Behind The Poisoning Of California Forests Caused By A Banned Pesticide

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There are growing concerns in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains due to illegal pesticides that are being used for illegal marijuana-growing sites in the area. Law enforcement officials on Tuesday announced major operations are underway targeting these sites. Officials say that Mexican drug traffickers are the culprits behind the marijuana grows and have already discovered close to 25,000 marijuana plants cultivated illegally within California’s national forests in the last month. 

“These are federal lands, and they are being systematically destroyed through clear-cutting, stream diversion, chemicals, and pesticides,” U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said at a news conference

Law enforcement is most concerned about the pesticide, carbofuran, that is being used on these plants. The pesticide is toxic to wildlife and humans and can cause permanent reproductive damage. 

Credit: @LATimes / Twitter

While the large marijuana grow is enough to cause concern for law enforcement, the banned pesticide, Carbofuran, being used is making matters worse. According to Quartz, the substance was very common for farmers as it was once sprayed on American corn, cotton, potatoes, sunflowers, and other crops. The pesticide in question was pulled off the legal U.S. market more than a decade ago due to its deadly harm. It’s also been known to cause permanent damage to human nervous and reproductive systems and is toxic to wildlife and waterways. 

The pesticide also happened to kill more birds in the U.S. than any other pesticide ever known. It would also be banned in Europe, Canada, and Brazil, shortly after. 

Carbofuran has been a continuing problem in California despite its ban. The pesticide has been a known favorite for illegal pot operators, nine out of every 10 illegal pot farms raided in California were found to be using it last year, according to the Associated Press

Another issue that has risen is the water usage that these illegal cannabis farms in California are wasting. The LA Times notes that on average one illegal farm uses a minimum of 5.4 million gallons of water annually to cultivate 6,000 plants. 

“Water is the most important issue in California, and the amount being used to grow an illegal product in the national forest is mind-boggling It’s a vitally important issue,” Scott said. 

Investigators say there’s been a spike in illegal marijuana grows in California that is being operated by Mexican drug traffickers. 

Credit: @pablorodas / Twitter

The news conference came less than two days after two men from Michoacan, Mexico, Lester Eduardo Cardenas Flores, and Luis Reyes Madrigal, were caught operating an illegal marijuana-growing site in the Sierra Mountains. Both men were formally charged Tuesday in Fresno federal court with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute large quantities of marijuana.

Scott says illegal immigrants from Mexico have been a common theme when it comes to finding these marijuana operations. Both Madrigal and Flores were illegal immigrants and were linked to other Mexican marijuana traffickers. The penalty for both of their charges could be anywhere from 10 years to life in prison.

“We’ve prosecuted hundreds of person, without exception..they’re all here illegally and all undocumented from Mexico,” Scott said.”We want to find the people funding these operations.”

There is hope that these latest arrests send a signal to traffickers and legislative change follows as well.

Credit: @MarilynM / Twitter

Marijuana-growing sites being connected to Mexican drug groups have been a growing issue for years. But Scott says with the recent spike of chemical use being found it only adds to the urgency of shutting these operations down. Back in July, agents and officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife closed in on another illegal grow operation deep within the Stanislaus National Forest. The raid turned up with over 2,500 marijuana plants and one loaded handgun.

While this has been an issue for years, officials says with the legalization of recreational marijuana in California back in 2016. Environmentalists and scientists agree that legalization of the cultivation of marijuana could be the best solution to prevent this from happening in the future. But for now, this is an issue that law enforcement doesn’t see stopping anytime soon. 

“I want to be perfectly clear, none of what we are talking about is legal under anyone’s marijuana laws,” Scott said. “This isn’t about the marijuana, it’s about the damage that’s being done. What is happening here is illegal under anybody’s law. Everything that we are talking about is as equally illegal under California law as it under federal law.”

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