Flavor of the month? Medical marijuana

Smoke a bowl or eat a bowl (of ice cream)? That's the question at a new medical marijuana dispensary, where half pints of Banannabis Foster and Straw-Mari Cheesecake marijuana-infused ice creams sell alongside bags of pot.

There's no consumption on site, of course, but card-carrying marijuana patients have the choice at the new Creme De Canna in Soquel, Calif., of buying and taking their medication home to puff on or enjoy with dessert.

Proprietor Jonathan Kolodinski says it's got three flavors of ice cream now, but others are on the way.

"It's been my passion to make medical marijuana not only highly effective, but amazingly delicious," he said.

"I've wanted to bring my product line to the market for a long time," said Kolodinski, who opened his marijuana collective across the street from Dominican Hospital.

Marijuana ice cream is not new. Recipes have passed back and forth between pot users since at least the '60s and directions for an untold number of flavors abound on the Internet.

But commercial sale of the product is in its infancy, and prospects for this and other marijuana products loom large as California voters decide the legality of pot, beyond just prescription users, this November.

"This is just a drop in the bucket, what we're seeing right now," said Steve Kubby, national director of the American Medical Marijuana Association.

Kubby, who is developing his own pot products like a marijuana lozenge, says legalization of the drug under California's Proposition 15 would only hasten an already growing marketplace for marijuana.

"A lot of people are coming up with all kinds of ideas about how to get cannabis into the diet," he said.

Before Kolodinski opened his dispensary, he began selling his pre-packaged ice cream at a handful of other dispensaries and earning positive reviews.

"People like it," said Nancy Black, aka Granny Purps, who carries the ice cream at her namesake collective on 41st Avenue. "First of all, it's ice cream — and who doesn't love ice cream? Secondly, it has a manageable amount of medication in it and you don't taste it."

Black says old-time pot smokers, remembering bad-tasting brownies of the past, have a misconception that marijuana tastes bad. That's no longer the case, she says.

"Everybody knows there are edibles out there. But people are rediscovering them now," she said.

Kolodinski says opening his dispensary was a natural next step for promoting his ice cream.

"We're now in a unique place to share our products," he said, noting that he'll soon add sorbets and vegan options to the ice cream lineup.

The ice cream, which comes in half-pint containers marked by a slick logo and marijuana leaf, sell for $15. According to the label, it contains "2 to 4 doses."

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