Starting this month, customers walking into Moorenko’s in downtown Silver Spring have another option to go along with cups of Cookie Overload or Moka Chocolate Chip.
The ice cream shop is now serving cannabis-infused coffee.
“It’s not flashy; there aren’t [marijuana] leaves painted on the windows,” owner Susan Soorenko said Thursday. “This is just one more thing we offer if you want it.”
About a week ago, Moorenko’s put Flower Power Coffee on its menu. The Brooklyn-based brand sells coffee infused with cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound derived from cannabis. Soorenko stressed that the drink doesn’t include THC—the chemical that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects—and is non-intoxicating.
A cup of the Costa Rican blend of Flower Power Coffee is available for $5.95, about three times more than a typical cup of coffee for $1.75 because of its more expensive ingredients. Packets of the coffee are also available to take home for $15.
While it won’t get you high, Flower Power Coffee, which is also available in New York City, does offer health benefits, such as reducing anxiety, relieving pain and mitigating chronic headaches or trouble sleeping, Soorenko said. When she tried it, Soorekno said she didn’t feel anxious, but she wasn’t sure if it was the drink or the mood she was already in.
“I don’t usually drink coffee because it makes me jittery but this didn’t make me jittery,” she said. “And I did sleep really well that night.”
Soorenko, who opened the store 16 years ago, said she wanted to offer something new and different and was intrigued by the health benefits, especially for epilepsy and other neurological issues. Still, she said she didn’t want people to think Moorenko’s was “part of a culture that we’re not a part of.”
“We’re a family place and I didn’t want anyone to think we were acting as a dispensary,” she said.
She said the shop polled customers online and found that most people were intrigued and not offended at the idea. The employees make it clear to customers what FlowerPower contains, she said, and they don’t allow minors under 18 to purchase it.
The cannabis coffee comes in the middle of a public perception shift for marijuana. Medical dispensaries are opening across the state, and most Democratic candidates for governor recently voiced degrees of support for legalizing marijuana in Maryland.
Soorenko said they might add more blends of FlowerPower Coffee in the future, but their focus will always be on the ice cream.
“It’s not only offering something that has the potential for being good for you,” she said, “but it brings a whole new set of people into our shop and introduces them to our ice cream, which is our primary driving force.”