Nostalgia, a new bar and restaurant opened in April 2022, is bringing cannabis drinking and dining to Santa Monica. The bar serves cannabis infused cocktails and mocktails, and diners can book the private dining space for cannabis-based dinners prepared by former Michelin-starred chef Christopher Sayegh. Also known as The Herbal Chef, Sayegh has established himself as a leader in high-end, cannabis-laced dining.
The rise of mainstream cannabis-infused dining coincided with the pandemic, which “has reset a lot of focus away from bars and clubs and in favor of home events and gatherings, where cannabis is more easily procured and consumed,” Bethany Gomez, managing director at research firm Brightfield Group told Business Insider. The launch of several cannabis dining experiences during the pandemic support this observation; Canna Café launched in 2020 and very quickly built up a 1,000-person waiting list and has since expanded, and Patisserie Soma, which serves cannabis-infused food by Michelin-starred New York City chefs, also launched in 2020.
We first tracked the rise of the cannabis economy in 2018 with the release of our report, “High Times.” Since then, marijuana and cannabis use has continued its evolution from alt-niche to mainstream. Now, cannabis-infused food could become an everyday dinner option. New York is reportedly considering allowing casual restaurants like pizza shops to sell cannabis-infused food, the New York Post reported in April. And with gen Zers opting for marijuana over alcohol—69% of people aged 18 to 26 prefer marijuana to alcohol, according to recent data from cannabis research firm New Frontier Data—expect to see more cannabis consumption and hospitality hitting the mainstream.