A chef known for cannabis-infused dinners is now opening a coffee shop where the coffee is laced with cannabis, too.
Chef Leighton Knowles — who freelances as “Culinary Ninja Catering” — will be setting up in the front half of Secret Garden Flower Shop at 64-02 Myrtle Avenue in Glendale, Queens, and once the cafe portion opens in late August or September, the space will be renamed to Flower Power Coffee House.
Most of the menu will be regular coffee shop fare with beans from Red Hook roastery D’Amico Coffee, but Knowles will also be selling one brew infused with cannabidiol, or CBD — a part of the plant that is supposed to relieve anxiety or pain but reportedly does not get users high. It does not contain THC, the stuff that makes weed a drug, and there’s a whole market of items with CBD. Flower Power’s CBD coffee will be coming from a company in Colorado.
One of the biggest questions Knowles gets is whether or not what he plans to do is legal. He insists that it is, pointing to East Village shop Alchemist’s Kitchen’s sale of CBD products. (Others say it can be a legal gray area.) He also plans to only sell the CBD coffee to people aged 21 and over, as well as posting signage encouraging people to not mix it with alcohol.
The chef takes CBD daily and believes it relaxes and calms without getting people stoned. If Flower Power Coffee House goes well, he plans to open more coffee shops in the city that serve CBD-laced brews, and he’s already started looking at spaces in Bushwick.
“As well as doing the dinners, which is something I’m still working on, why not do something that people can enjoy every day?” Knowles says. “Everyone enjoys coffee. Why not bring the benefits of CBD into it?”
The cafe in Glendale will still double as a flower shop, and every month, Knowles plans to host events to teach people more about what CBD is and the benefits.
Meanwhile, he plans on launching more dinners with CBD oil, including a collaboration with chef Lisa Delgado.
Part of the reason he’s opening the coffee shop is to bring something new to Glendale, but he also wants to spread the word about the effects of taking CBD on a more regular basis, he says. “To see people’s views and expectations change on what this actually is would be a very big benefit,” he says.