By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
EVERETT — The temptation to infuse the food-truck fad with marijuana apparently was too great to pass up.
And so, if things go as planned, expect to see an entrepreneur pull into a south Everett farmers market this weekend to hawk cannabis-laced snacks from a converted school bus.
The hot-pink rolling restaurant, dubbed the Samich Truck, isn’t intended to comply with Washington’s rules for legal pot sales — and won’t. The state isn’t even scheduled to start issuing licenses for voter-approved retail pot sales until July 7.
The food truck’s backers want to sell THC-fortified sandwiches, popcorn and other treats to people with a doctor’s permission to use pot. It’s a gambit to promote a botanical extractor made by a Seattle-based MagicalButter.com.
“We have incredible chefs and we want to showcase their skills and the quality of the machine,” company CEO Garyn Angel said Tuesday.
A blender-like appliance marketed as the MB2, the extractor can infuse plant flavors such as pomegranate or rosemary into all sorts of food products: oils, butters, vodkas and more. It also can do that with THC, the psychoactive — some would argue medicinal — ingredient in marijuana.
Angel spoke by phone from Denver, where the truck debuted April 20 — naturally — at a pot festival called the Cannabis Cup. His venture soon attracted media attention from the likes of Newsweek, the Huffington Post and Forbes.
A New York City-area P.R. firm sent out press releases last week to advertise the truck’s first Washington appearance, in Everett.
The plan is for the truck to set up at the Jet City farmers market at 1120 112th Street SW from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The spot is in unincorporated Snohomish County, just outside Everett city limits.
“We want to be fully compliant and up-front and fully cooperate with authorities and not be a nuisance for them,” Angel said. “But we also want to provide patients with incredible infused meals.”
The truck will operate in the gray area of medical marijuana sales. That puts it outside the scope of rules the state Liquor Control Board has been working on since November 2012, when voters passed Initiative 502.
“There are any number of reasons why it’s incompatible with I-502,” Liquor Control spokesman Mikhail Carpenter said.
A fixed store location is a given under the state rules. The state also requires all food containing recreational marijuana to be in marked, child-proof packaging. Food must be tested for potency and cannot require refrigeration.
The Liquor Control Board will issue about 20 retail licenses on July 7, and the stores that are ready can open the next day. More stores will get licensed in the following days.
Snohomish County, Everett and other cities have layered on zoning requirements and other specifications to which retail shops must adhere. Marysville and Monroe are among the jurisdictions that have banned pot retailers outright.
Local public health agencies lack the authority to regulate medical or recreational marijuana, in food or otherwise, said Kristin Kinnamon, a spokeswoman for the Snohomish Health District. Local health officials are, however, warning people of the potential dangers of pot edibles, particularly the risk of accidentally poisoning children.
“While our food safety program is not involved in regulating marijuana-infused foods, pot is still a significant public health concern to (the) Snohomish Health District,” Kinnamon said.
Angel’s pioneering pot truck started life as a 40-foot Freightliner C2 school bus.
Its name, Samich, is slang for sandwich and doubles as an acronym for Savory Accessible Marijuana Infused Culinary Happiness. The menu includes a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, a Vietnamese-style pork sandwich, smoked turkey over corn bread and truffle popcorn — all spiked with THC.
“They’re comfort foods,” Angel said. “I’m a foodie myself and I love great food.”
The Associated Press contributed. Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, firstname.lastname@example.org.