In celebration of 4/20, the unofficial stoner holiday celebrated around the globe, U.S. burger chain Carl’s Jr. launched their very own CBD infused burger – with customers lining up at 5.30am to try it out.
Officials from the chain announced last week that for one day only, they would be launching the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight (get it?) in just one Carl’s Jr. location in Denver, Colorado. From 6am, hungry locals had already filled up the parking lot to get a taste of the CheeseBurger Delight, with over 100 CBD burgers sold in the first hour of business.
With only 1,000 allotted CBD burgers available on the day, officials had to limit each customer to two CBD infused burgers to make sure everyone could get a bite. And in a not at all shocking move, the CheeseBurger Delight set customers back $4.20
So what exactly is in the CBD burger? Along with a CBD-infused version of the signature Santa Fe sauce, the CheeseBurger Delight is made up of two 100% charbroiled beef patties, pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese and Crisscut® fries sandwiched in a premium bun.
In the most surprising turn of events, the CheeseBurger Delight wasn’t just a 4/20 marketing stunt. Patty Trevino, senior vice president of brand marketing for Carl’s Jr. has said that they are considering making the CBD burger a permanent fixture on the menu, as “it is something that feels right for the brand” (can we also stop for a minute to appreciate the deliciousness of someone called Patty working for a burger chain? Ok – carry on).
Officials at Carl’s Jr. had been gearing up for the 4/20 launch of the CBD burger for a few months now. Trevino stated that the idea came shortly after the launch of the Beyond Meat burger, in response to the rapidly growing plant-based food trend. During a meeting with head chef Owen Klein, the duo developed a wish list of other “trends” they hoped to explore, which included a CBD-infused product.
— Carl’s Jr. (@CarlsJr) April 17, 2019
Carl’s Jr. paired up with Bluebird Botanicals, a local Colorado-based company that produces CBD oil tinctures and capsules. By launching the CBD burger in Colorado, Carl’s Jr. can capitalize off the state’s strong cannabis and CBD regulation. Recreational cannabis and THC has been legal for adult consumption in the state since 2012, and it has grown to become one of the cannabis capitals of the United States.
While CBD oil and industrial hemp was legalized on a federal level in the 2018 Farm Bill, that hasn’t stopped the FDA from cracking down on all the CBD-infused fun companies have been having with developing food and drink products.
Since Epidiolex (the first CBD-based medicine available in the United States) was approved by the FDA in 2018, it has complicated the status of CBD food and drink products – precisely because the FDA prohibits the addition of “drug products” to food and drink products. Across the country, stores selling CBD-infused food and drink products have been faced with raids and fines.
Luckily, most locations of Carl’s Jr. franchises in the United States are concentrated on the west coast states like Washington and California, where recreational cannabis and THC is legal (giving a new meaning to the wild wild west). So if they do ever get to roll out the CheeseBurger Delight as a permanent fixture on the menu, they’ll have established CBD oil testing and regulations to work with.