Restaurant that sedates lobsters with cannabis before cooking them comes under scanner
The Maine Health Inspection Program is investigating Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound at the moment, but they haven't issued any findings yet
According to latest news reports, a Maine restaurant is currently being investigated for using marijuana to sedate lobsters in the kitchen to ensure their painless death before cooking them. The police are looking into marijuana usage at Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound, where the owner Charlotte Gill inserts cannabis smoke into the boiling water to make the creature's death is "less traumatic", reports the Daily Mail.
Reports state that Gill claims "the lobsters appear calmer after being dosed with cannabis and do not even attempt to wield their claws even when left unbanded".
Speaking to the Press Herald, she said she has taken off the 'smoked' lobster meat from the menu while her Southwest Harbor restaurant is under investigation, while also saying that she hopes the cannabis-sedated lobsters will be made available again soon.
Gill told the website: "After being contacted by the state, and upon reviewing its present laws and codes applicable to this arena, and then making a few minor adjustments to our procedure, we are completely confident that we will be able to proceed as planned."
"Keep in mind this meat is presently not available, and we don't expect it to be for a little while longer under the circumstances… soon though."
The Maine Health Inspection Program is investigating the lobster restaurant at the moment, but they haven't issued any findings yet, according to Emily Spencer from the State Department of Health and Human Services. The restaurant owner, meanwhile, believes she isn't trying to go against the state's wishes, adding that she wants to work with them in order to make the world "a kinder place".
The publication reports that it will be up to the Maine Medical Marijuana Program to decide if Gill was using the cannabis appropriately. On her Facebook page, Gill said: "The process is for the physical comfort of the lobster, not the consumer."
A spokesman for Maine Medical Marijuana Program, David Heidrich, said that medical marijuana can only be grown and provided to people with a recommendation or a prescription from a certified doctor, and lobsters are not people. He added that recreational marijuana, as well as its products, cannot be used because the state of Maine has not issued licenses for places where they are sold.
However, Gill is a licensed medical marijuana caregiver, which roughly translates into the fact that she has the state's blessing to grow the substance for medical use. On the other hand, regulators are unsure if that applies to animals.
Robert Bayer of the University of Maine said that the lobster has a primitive nervous system, and doesn't experience things as a human does. He further pointed out that dropping a lobster in boiling water destroys the nervous system so they are unlikely to feel anything anyway.