The Portland Press Herald reports Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor remains open but has stopped allowing customers to request meat from lobsters sedated with marijuana.
The owner, Charlotte Gill, put a test lobster in a box with a few inches of water before marijuana smoke was blown into the box, WMTW-TV reported. Gill says she has devised a way to treat lobster with marijuana smoke before cooking them, in order to make the process of storing and then killing the crustaceans more humane. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Emily Spencer told the New York Times that health inspectors "would treat food served to consumers at licensed eating places and affected by marijuana, as has been described with this establishment, as adulterated and therefore illegal".
In Maine, marijuana is not prohibited by law. Crustaceans usually boiled alive, and science cannot answer, how strong the pain is experienced by animals.
"I imagine we will still have a push back from the state on our hands, but we are confident that we will be able to field any issues they may have with us, and do it with grace", Gill said in an email. The recreational marijuana law also says marijuana can not be exchanged for any type of payment or service. Besides, says the restaurateur, a relaxed lobster is much better.More news: United Kingdom envoy urges European Union to step back from the Brexit 'abyss'
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Gill wants to present that opportunity to the crustaceans whose deaths her business is built on, trying to use marijuana to get them high so they have a painless, stress-free plunge into boiling water.
But lobster scientists are less certain of the sedative effect, noting that lobsters don't use their claws as weapons, and whether it would make their deaths less traumatic.
In New Zealand, as well as in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, it is illegal to cook lobsters by boiling them alive.