Marijuana Restaurant opens in Denver

After the opening of the 'Cannabis Cafe' in Portland, Oregon, the new creative approach to US medical marijuana dispensaries comes from Denver:

'-Can I get my prescription?

-Sure, would you like the gourmet lasagna or are you craving some chocolate mousse?'

The 'Ganja Gourmet', is a medical marijuana dispensary in the heart of Denver's medical marijuana district and it is marketing itself as a gourmet restaurant.

The patients who show their medical marijuana card can enjoy a variety of international recipes - lasagna, hummus and pita, pizza, jambalaya, cheesecake and brownie - to ease physical ailments that require the use of medical marijuana.

The owner of Ganja Gourmet said the restaurant will 'aim to help distribute medicinal marijuana to those licensed to have it and provide an atmosphere where patients can visit with one another in a safe environment.'

'With the new laws in Colorado, medicinal marijuana is a business like any other. Dozens of legal dispensaries are everywhere. We have to set ourselves apart as a business in order to survive,' Horowitz said in a statement. 'Just like any other restaurant, we have to work on the quality of our food and our atmosphere to make sure our customers have an enjoyable experience that makes them want to come back.'

As the staff - clad in tie-dye attires - describe, this is not just a place to get your prescription and go, but hang around and 'chill'. Patients see it as a place to socialise and for some it's a better alternative to smoking marijuana, like the pastry chef of the restaurant who was originally prescribed with medical merijuana after his back surgery.

Huffington Post reports that the 'recent flood of new marijuana dispensary openings has prompted calls for increased regulation of the industry. The state legislature is expected to introduce a bill during the 2010 legislative session that will drastically increase oversight of medical marijuana facilities.'

As for the public, commentary on different blogs is divided. Some think it's an ill-conceived approach; others believe that it is an interesting one and some just say: 'If the medical marijuana movement ever wants to gain more wide spread acceptance they need to lose the tie-dye crap. Nothing turns people away from compassion quicker than the symbolism of dirty hippies just getting high.' (akbar56: