Sarah Best has always been fascinated by the community-building capability of a great meal. In her latest venture, the Toronto native is taking her passion for food and hospitality and connecting it to the burgeoning world of cannabis. “Cannabis has always been a part of my life. After university, it lost its social appeal for me and became something I did alone, at home, to help me sleep or turn off,” she explains.
To cultivate a newfound community in experiential eating, Best created Dirt: a series of occasional fine-dining cannabis-themed dinner parties that revolve around exceptional food, pleasant company, great music, and really good weed. “It’s an inclusive experience, which is why we work in microdosing—so that the high can be more controlled, and a diner can experience edibles without stigma,” she describes.
By bringing together top chefs, adventurous eaters, and high-grade cannabis, Dirt delivers microdosed dining through cursory and seasonally focused menus that Best hopes will facilitate a space for people to enjoy the magic of cannabis as a community: “I personally love cannabis because it brings me into a new headspace without the same impact to my body as other vices I may indulge in, and I love edibles because it removes the need to smoke.”
Dirt also encourages its participants to practise mindfulness. As an advocate of slow consumption, the food-oriented cannabis experience is a lesson in conscious enjoyment. “I think cannabis and food align perfectly through this process,” expresses Best, “being mindful about what you’re eating, the history behind the dish, where its ingredients are grown or farmed, who it’s prepared by, and then applying all that thinking to cannabis.”
Legalization and the market’s ever-changing landscape have increased curiosity and experimentation within the cannabis community, but curiosity among new users is also increasing rapidly. “At every dinner with Dirt, we connect with people who have never tried an edible, which always amazes me.” With a booming cannabis industry, Best hopes to challenge the misconceptions of cannabis consumption, especially those pertaining to edibles: “Edibles are the future of this industry—not just foods, but oils and capsules that are so innovative you’ll be able to leverage them for an array of needs.” The edible industry is experiencing a slow revolution, which will be kickstarted when laws are made clearer—and, regarding what that means for the future of Dirt, Best hopes to create an edible line that can exist alongside everyday home cooking. “I want to bring Dirt into people’s kitchens in all legalized markets,” she says.
Dirt has manifested a setting where people can openly enjoy cannabis through an elevated experience that is reminiscent of a Friday night dinner with friends. “When Canada started to progress towards federal legalization, I knew there would be a huge market of new users, but also those like me, who had been hiding out smoking joints at home,” expresses Best. Through Dirt, she has become a creative and social leader, creating environments for safe cannabis use that still remain fun, playful, and innovative. “These are exciting times, and we’ve only just scratched the surface—there is so much more we’re going to learn. It’s like space—the next frontier—and it’s so exciting.”