The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) allowed the sale of hemp for horticultural uses in November 2021. The first hemp café opened soon after
For anyone surprised at the subject, hemp is now legal in India. And no, you cannot just buy from anywhere and consume, hemp is legal in the country only for horticultural uses. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) allowed the sale of hemp seed, hemp seed oil and hemp flour as a food and an ingredient for food, in November 2021. The first hemp café opened soon after. And as astonishing as it may sound, we have not one, but three more places offering hemp-based foods, while doing everything legally. But before we dig deeper into the cafes, let’s just first talk about what is hemp.
To anyone new to the conversation about hemp or cannabis, we got you. In a broader sense, hemp is a type of cannabis, but no it doesn’t get you high. Cannabis has two main components—cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The latter is the chemical that gets you high, while the former is not intoxicating and in fact has several nutritional benefits. Hemp is a type of cannabis that contains less than even 0.3% THC, and thus doesn’t get you high. This has perhaps what has inspired any young people in India to open hemp cafes. Here are cafes and kitchens that from across India offering hemp-based foods:
1. Off Limits
India’s first cafe to serve hemp-infused dishes, Off Limits is nestled in the ‘mini Amsterdam' of India- Kasol right beside the Parvati River. Cosy, charming interiors with wooden seating, the café offers a host of delicious delicacies to hog while soaking up an enchanting view. From burgers, pizzas, hummus platters, pasta, waffles, to wholesome breakfast platters, and pancakes, the café has quite a great spread. And the best part? It all comes with a sprinkle of hemp. The motto of this cafe is simple- normalise the conversations around hemp in India.
Image: Instagram/Off Limits
2. The Hemp Factory
A cloud kitchen based in Andheri that serves hemp-infused food, The Hemp Factory started by Dhaval Panchal, offers a European menu primarily, wherein everything contains some amount of hemp. Be it the pizza bases, burger buns and focaccias, which are made by swapping some amount of refined flour with hemp flour, or the sauces that contain hemp seed oil. The kitchen also offers smoothies with hemp hearts. A favourite of the kitchen is their signature brownie, cheekily named 'The Marley Brownie', which is made with hemp seeds and hemp oil.
3. The Hemp Cafeteria
Pune is a city that has been at the forefront of nightlife and has been attracting foodies too. Now it is also one of the leading cities to come up with a hemp café, upping the game. With bhang sandwiches, hemp coffee, fries, and a lot of other hemp-infused food, The Hemp Cafeteria started y Amruta Shitole, is working on spreading the awareness of health benefits of hemp
4. Drinking Safari PitStop
Rustic, outdoor, pet-friendly, and close to nature, this plce is nestled in Yansh Adventure Motorsport, Faridabad, and adds hemp seeds to their dishes which are unbelievably delicious. Their drinks are the most popular from their menu, which offers a range of delicacies including wood fire pizza, salads, and soups, besides BBQ preparations. Owned by Kama KM, a mixologist and entrepreneur, Drinking Safari PitStop makes dips, drinks, and even special condiments, with hemp seed and oil, that they serve as a topping with pizza, pasta, and salads. Interesting, isn’t it?
Image: Instagram/Drinking Safari PitStop
While the number of such cafes might be really less at the moment, it seems like we are only going forward from here. Are you going to try any of the Hemp cafes soon? Let us know.