Bake ’em if you got ’em

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Where are edibles made? I’m asking specifically about chocolate bars, cookies, brownies, et al. that are sold at medical-cannabis dispensaries. Are they made in commercially licensed kitchens? Do local health departments approve? What’s the law? What assurances do we have that medical-cannabis food products are prepared with attention to food-safety standards?

—Alkali Hank

Good question. Most edibles are made in someone’s home, although Bhang Chocolate bars are made in a commercial kitchen. Many makers of edibles don’t produce enough product to justify renting a commercial spot, and many commercial kitchens refuse to rent to medical-edible makers because of cannaphobia.

My homey Mickey Martin, who has just relaunched his Tainted Inc. line of cannabis-infused edibles, says he uses a superclean home kitchen, and he follows the guidelines posted by the San Francisco Department of Public Health ( These guidelines are pretty good. They allow the use of a home kitchen and state that if someone wants to provide edibles to more than one dispensary, they need to have a state-issued food-handler’s certificate.

I also talked to some local homeys at All About Wellness and the Northstar Holistic Collective, and they said pretty much the same thing. There have been no known instances of someone getting food poisoning from an edible bought at a dispensary, although I am sure some people have gotten uncomfortably high.

If you’re going to make cannabis-infused foods to sell, remember: You aren’t making a batch of cookies for friends. You’re making food for people with a variety of illnesses, and some people may have weakened immune systems, so you need to be as clean as you can possibly be. The biggest challenge is making sure the product is consistent.

Some of my friends say that smoking weed before working out puts you more in touch with your body without decreasing energy. One guy tells me he runs 20 miles while high, and “the miles just drift by.” Any truth to this? Does weed slow down, say, long-distance runners, or could the opposite be true? What strains would you recommend for (nonprofessional) athletes?

—Jay Strapped

If weed slowed you down, the NBA would not exist, and Michael Phelps wouldn’t have a kajillion Olympic gold medals. Weed may make you a little less motivated to work out, but it shouldn’t impair you too much. I would recommend a sativa if you are trying to get fired up, like for basketball or running, and an indica if you need smooth slow focus, like on the golf course. I have also heard that marijuana is great after a workout, you know, because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, and it helps with aches and pains. So, toke up and enjoy your “runner’s high.”