Carl's Jr. will become the first major fast-food chain to debut a cannabis-infused burger
- Carl's Jr. is debuting a cannabis-infused burger on 4/20.
- The Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight will be topped with CBD-infused Santa Fe Sauce, and will be sold at a lone location in Denver, Colorado for a single day.
- It will cost $4.20.
- If the burger sells well, Carl's Jr. may consider expanding the test and selling CBD-infused burgers at more locations, an executive told Business Insider.
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Carl's Jr. is making history this 4/20.
On Saturday, Carl's Jr. will debut the CBD-infused Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight at a single location in Denver, Colorado. The CBD Burger will be available for $4.20 during the one-day test, fittingly held on April 20, a weed-filled celebration for many Americans.With the test, Carl's Jr. will become the first major fast-food chain to roll out a cannabis-infused menu item - even if just for a one location, one-day event.
The CheeseBurger Delight consists of two beef patties, topped with pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, fries, and CBD-infused Santa Fe Sauce.
The rise of the CBD-infused burger
Carl's Jr. has been working on the CBD Burger since its vegan Beyond Meat burger launch in early January, according to Patty Trevino, Carl's Jr.'s senior vice president of brand marketing.
Unlike most menu tests, one of Trevino's first conversations when Carl's Jr. decided to try to make a CBD-infused burger was with the company's legal team. The Denver restaurant was picked as the 4/20 test spot in part because of Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana in 2014.
Trevino says the test is more than a one-day 4/20 stunt. Carl's Jr. will be monitoring sales, as well as customer and franchisee response. If all goes well, Trevino says that expanding the test remains an option - with the possibility of one day rolling out a CBD-infused burger across America."If anyone is going to do it, I would want Carl's Jr. to do it," Trevino said of the prospect of launching a CBD-infused menu item nationally.
While navigating state-by-state regulations could prove to be challenging, Trevino says that Carl's Jr. has an advantage as a West Coast chain, operating in more states that have fully legalized marijuana. In total, Carl's Jr. and sister brand Hardee's - which dominates the South and Midwest - have 3,800 locations in 44 states and internationally.
CBD has been celebrated for its potential health benefits and functions as the non-psychoactive component of marijuana - meaning that eating a CBD Burger will not get you high. With the passage of the Farm Bill, CBD is going mainstream, despite reports of dangerous ingredients and misleading labels.
Retailers and restaurants are increasingly intrigued by CBD, with CVS and Walgreens signing deals to sell CBD topicals and trendy chain By Chloe serving up CBD-infused sweets. A team of analysts at the investment bank Cowen recently estimated that the US market for CBD could skyrocket to $16 billion by 2025 from roughly $1 billion to $2 billion now.
Carl's Jr. is sourcing its hemp-derived CBD oil from BlueBird Botanicals, a Colorado-based company."If you were to ask me [about CBD and legal weed] when I was at Burger King back in the mid-2000s, I would have been like, no way," Trevino said. "But today, this is a huge trend with consumers."
The Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight will be sold at a Carl's Jr. location located on 4050 Colorado Blvd. in Denver, Colorado starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, while supplies last.