The medical marijuana program in Illinois is just getting underway, and so far things seem to be going well. The industry has already attracted a big name—at least in the cooking world—when it comes to medical edibles.
Chicago chef Mindy Segal, owner of the restaurant Mindy's HotChocolate, has made a deal with Cresco Labs, a company that will be opening three cannabis cultivation centers in the state. Through them she will sell a line of medical marijuana edibles that will include chocolate brittle bars, granola bites, hot chocolate and a cookie batter mix.
Segal says she has done some small-scale marijuana edibles cooking to help friends of hers who are in pain, but she hopes to be able to help so many more people through wider distribution. Eventually she hopes to expand her business to include other medical marijuana states.
"I have a lot to learn and a lot to give," she said. "I'm hoping I can be a leader in the industry."
Segal also admits that being new to this, a lot of experimentation will be necessary with different strains and concentrations. Making edibles for medical marijuana patients is not something that is very widespread at this point. There is a lot to learn and there is a lot of knowledge that needs to be spread to every state.
Edibles themselves are going to be a big part of the medical marijuana industry going forward. Along with vaporizing, edibles are the future of cannabis consumption as more consumers move away from smoking. Edibles are much more versatile as a food and flavor can be made for just about any palate.
Illinois has a less restrictive medical cannabis law than many states; hopefully they can show new MMJ states that restriction is not the key to a growing industry.