As state legislators become increasingly accepting of legal marijuana for recreational use, an industry catering to people who like to eat their weed has quickly grown. Selections of THC-laced chocolates, gummy bears and Rice Krispies treats are de rigeur at emporiums in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and, as of July 1, Nevada.
There is a common problem with most edibles out there though: They don’t taste very good. But people make allowances when the end-goal is getting high. Acres Cannabis in Las Vegas aims to up the edibles game in the newest legal market for pot. The goal there is to create edibles that transcend the acceptable low-bar standard and live up to what you get at a top restaurant on the Vegas Strip.
The fact that Michael Morton is one of the dispensary’s partners helps things along. Morton is also the force behind successful Vegas eateries that include wine-centric La Cave at Wynn Las Vegas, tapas-focused Crush inside MGM Grand, MB Steak at the Hard Rock, and La Comida, which serves Mexican food downtown.
His pastry chef at MB Steak, Kimberly Valdez, is a veteran of SW Steakhouse and Lakeside, two top restaurants at Wynn. She oversees the edible upgrade at Acres. “It’s a challenge,” Valdez says, wearing chef’s whites and holding containers of weed-enhanced icing, standing inside Acres’ cooking facility. “You need to create a good pastry while maintaining a note of marijuana” – which, according to John Mueller, CEO of Acres, is required by customers who want to know that what they are eating will help them achieve the desired effects.
Coming in, Valdez faced an interesting hurdle. It takes five days for marijuana infused edibles to get cleared for sale. But peddling day-olds would not cut it. So she is executing an interesting