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Not Your Police Officer's Doughnut



The menu board at Habit Doughnut Dispensary in Denver.

When does a doughnut—a mainstay for after-church socializing and office breakroom fodder, not to mention, a kid's guilty-pleasure breakfast—become X-rated?

As soon as you cross state lines into a locale where recreational marijuana is legal.

On a recent trip to Denver, I was amazed at the number of pot dispensaries, as well as ambiguous names for businesses.  My son, who grew up an aficionado of my go-to “rolled pancakes” and San Diego-style rolled tacos, pointed out a sign with “Roll Up” as the first part of the moniker, and, you got it, it wasn’t a spot for either pancakes or tacos.

The hipster restaurant we went to for brunch, Habit Doughnut Dispensary, had a bubblegum pink cross logo, reminiscent of the famous Red Cross, with a sprinkle doughnut in the crosshairs.  In the bakery case, a sign stated: "Take your donut to the next level. Add CBD or an alcohol infusion for an additional $2." The alcohol was administered to the doughnut with a vial that would have been both at home in a medical facility and on the street.

Attached to the take-out doughnuts is an equally edgy cafe, Carbon Cafe & Bar, where the latte art is tri-colored and the tater tots too good for a hot dish—you want the Method Sauce to dip them in. Sandwiches came with a choice of sides, including Wu Tang Tots and Dobbie Snacks (brioche-wrapped mini hot dogs with stoneground maple mustard).

The pot industry may be a lucrative addition to the restaurant scene, but according to an article in Bloomberg, its downside is that it is syphoning off workers in an already tight labor market, not to mention liquor sales. Pastry chefs, the article said, are in high demand to make quality infused treats, and the pot-related jobs pay significantly better than what restaurants can afford to pay.

Other concerns for the 29 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal uses: workers coming to work stoned (a study reported on CBSnews.com in 2018, found that food preparation and serving had the highest prevalence of current marijuana users); food delivery drivers being high; and overeaters getting too high on edible versions of the drug.

Who’s coming out on top? With munchies being a very real side effect of smoking or eating pot, fast-food restaurants are benefiting, a local Denver newspaper claims.  A late-night run to Taco Bell, anyone?

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