April 20, aka 4/20, is coming up and one way cannabis enthusiasts can celebrate it is with a CBD-infused burger. Fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. is going to be offering the burger at one of its locations in Denver. According to the company, it has enough supply to be able to sell at least 1,000 burgers containing CBD. The price, as you can probably guess, will be $4.20 for what’s being called “The Rocky Mountain High: CheesBurger Delight.”
Could this be the beginning of a more permanent menu item?
Although the CBD burger is a limited time event, it might lead to something more than that. In an interview with CNN Business, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing Patty Trevino said that “It is something that feels right for the brand” and that the company is “all about innovation.”
Colorado, the first State to have legalized cannabis, is as good a State as any to test the product in. Edibles have been immensely popular in the State. Gummy bears and chocolate infused with cannabis have been selling very well, although the same cannot be said for burgers. However, that’s likely to do with restaurants being hesitant to incorporate into menu items because it’s still a bit of controversial area and many big companies are still sitting on the sidelines until there is federal legislation permitting CBD to be sold.
For Carl’s Jr., it could be a great opportunity to gain some first-mover advantages if it decides to offer the product on its menu more consistently. Many companies have simply been too fearful of damaging their brands to be associated with cannabis, but those that get in the industry early could have the opportunity to reach a new type of consumer and help grow their sales.
Will the CBD burger prove to be just a gimmick?
There’s no doubt that with 4/20 coming around and a 4/20 burger being available, there will be significant demand for it. However, the reason I’d be skeptical about a menu item like this lasting, even if it shows strong results initially, is that the main reason to consume a CBD product is to get the potential health benefits that it promises. Health-conscious consumers probably wouldn’t want to eat a burger nor would they associate it with being healthy, even if CBD were found in it. CBD-infused water might make sense, but not greasy restaurant food that’s full of calories.
Another reason CBD products are popular is that for medical marijuana patients, it’s an easy way to control dosages in a convenient way – consuming a gummy bear or candy. Here again, a burger would not be a very effective way to do that.
And lastly, for a burger calling itself “Rocky Mountain High,” it’s not going to be able to offer consumers any sort of high. With only 5 milligrams of CBD in the burger, it’s not going to do much for cannabis lovers that might be hoping to get high while solving the munchies simultaneously. Without THC, it’s likely not going to have a noticeable impact on consumers and that’s why I don’t see this being more than short-term menu item at best. Besides maybe bragging rights, there’s not a whole lot that eating the burger is going to give you.