Marijuana in Minnesota

Minnesota’s 1st THC restaurant serves hemp tinctures, vegan food in Minneapolis

A mocktail with dried juniper
Chef Heather Klein burns dried foraged juniper Hi Flora's smoked juniper mocktail.
Nicole Ki | MPR News

Chef Heather Klein is pushing the boundaries of THC-infused food with her new vegan restaurant and non-alcoholic bar in Uptown Minneapolis.

Hi Flora!, located on Lyndale Avenue, had its grand opening on July 19 — just before recreational marijuana became legal in Minnesota on Aug. 1. It’s the first THC restaurant and first temperance (non-alcoholic) bar that has opened in the state, Hospitality Minnesota confirmed, noting that other restaurants have hosted one-off THC dish tastings.

The menu, which features plant-based foods and over 20 “euphoric” mocktails, is inspired by Klein’s personal decision to go vegan and alcohol-free in 2015.

“I wanted to have a place that was a safe place for people to come and still have a great time without alcohol and with nothing but vegan, plant-based foods,” said Klein, who also owns a vegan catering business called Root to Rise.

A steak with mushrooms and sauce
Lions Mane Steak made with mushrooms, beet steak sauce and chimichurri is a signature entrée at Hi Flora! restaurant in Uptown Minneapolis.
Nicole Ki | MPR News

It’s customizable: Customers can put THC tincture in their food or drinks

Hi Flora!’s concept centers on its hemp-derived THC tinctures. They’re small dropper bottles containing THC-infused liquid that patrons can buy at the restaurant to sprinkle on top of their food and mix into their drinks.

It takes careful understanding of state and federal law to serve THC-infused food at restaurants. Since hemp-derived THC has not been approved as a food additive by the FDA, Klein said servers cannot apply the tinctures to the food and drinks for customers and are limited in instructing how to use them. She also does not plan to sell cannabis or cannabis-derived THC products, since cannabis sales must happen in dispensaries under the new state law. 

Klein’s general advice for first-time cannabis consumers is to “take it slow, have a good time and see how your body reacts to it.”

A woman poses outside of her restaurant -1
Hi Flora! restaurant owner Heather Klein is the first to open a THC restaurant in Minnesota. Her plant-based, vegan THC restaurant is located in Uptown Minneapolis.
Nicole Ki | MPR News

“If you’ve never used THC, I would start off small and just kind of put a little bit of the THC into your drink or on your food,” said Klein. She recommends waiting 15 minutes to see what the effects are like before upping the dosage. THC edibles can take hours to kick in, and outlets such as Healthline recommend not taking more edibles after ingesting your first intended dose. 

The THC in Hi Flora!’s tinctures is sourced from local hemp farmers and goes through a nano emulsification process that turns it into a water-soluble liquid, according to Klein. The tinctures are available in a range of flavors and doses, starting from 5 milligrams up to 50 milligrams in one bottle.

Effects vary depending on the person, but Klein said some will feel calm or feel a head high.

“You might just feel more chill, a little more talkative, a little more giggly,” said Klein.

A pink mocktail
A customer at Hi Flora! restaurant mixes a few drops of a THC tincture into the smoked juniper mocktail. The THC is hemp-derived.
Nicole Ki | MPR News

Vegan food designed for the ‘munchies’

Many of the items on Hi Flora!’s menu are designed to pair well with the THC tinctures, such as hemp cheese dip, parsnip fries and street tacos.

“Not all of it but a lot of it has kind of that, when you have a little bit of a buzz from THC and then you have the munchies,” said Klein. “So the food is kind of paired well with that but created with plants that aren’t highly processed so it’s a little healthier.”

Dishes are garnished with fresh flowers, herbs and vegetables from a garden right behind the restaurant.

A persons hand sprinkles dried juniper
Hi Flora!'s restaurant owner preparing dried foraged juniper for a mocktail.
Nicole Ki | MPR News

People can also take home the THC tinctures, which are sold separately at Hi Flora!’s storefront. The storefront is attached to the restaurant and sells other hemp-derived THC, CBD and botanical products.

Since Hi Flora!’s soft opening in June, the restaurant has hosted disco parties featuring local DJs. Klein said it’s part of her intention to continue providing an “elevated experience” and social alternative to alcohol.

“There's nowhere that you can go and have that same experience and just kind of have the alcohol not on the menu and instead, have fun euphoric plants introduced,” said Klein. “So that's kind of why I think it’s special.”

Hi Flora! is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday for brunch and dinner. 

A person runs their hands through leaves
Hi Flora! uses fresh herbs and fruits, like elderberries, from their garden behind the restaurant to garnish dishes.
Nicole Ki | MPR News
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