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Update 2 p.m.: Coconut Club is pulling the plug on its partnership with Joint Delivery hours after announcing its launch. The restaurant issued the following statement:
“As of this morning, our team at Coconut Club was informed by our council that the partnership with Joint Delivery would be legal and permissible by D.C. law. At approximately 12 p.m. today, we were told by reliable sources that the Department of Health, DCRA, and MPD would threaten to shut us down if we chose to do so. To preserve our liquor license and more importantly, our business, we have made the decision to refrain from the collaboration until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that soon we will be able to move forward with the venture.”
City Paper has reached out to each agency to confirm whether they indeed made these threats and why.
Chef Adam Greenberg says if he owned a stodgy steakhouse he probably wouldn’t have spent the last couple of days figuring out a way to gift diners cannabis with their Coconut Club food. “We’re a beachy concept, I’m a authentic human being, I smoke weed, and I’m not a big drinker,” he says. “If I owned a different concept, I wouldn’t be thinking about doing this. It just works.”
Restaurants throughout the region are getting creative to compete for precious dollars and add value to Washingtonians shut-in lives as the COVID-19 public health crisis stretches into its second month. Some restaurants have turned to selling groceries, CSAs from local farms, and toilet paper. Others are off-loading their wine inventory or tapping bartenders to bottle up top-shelf cocktails.
Starting this Friday, District residents will be able to go onto the Coconut Club website and order the “Breezy Easy Beach Pack” for delivery within D.C. proper. It comes with the restaurant’s signature Spam fried rice, a Pacifico beer, a koozie, and a gift of either three pre-rolled joints or an eighth of flower courtesy of Joint Delivery.
District residents are permitted to possess pot, grow plants, and “gift” up to an ounce of weed to anyone 21 or older, but not buy or sell it.
The package will be available on Friday and Saturday this week. Going forward, it will be available Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. If people want to add additional food items or cocktails to their orders, they’re welcome to do so.
Joint Delivery founder Connor Pennington, who used to work in the restaurant industry, says the strain he’s gifting is a sativa with a “nice fruity flavor.” He calls it “Coconut Breeze.”
Greenberg met Pennington while Pennington was working at the ramen shop Haikan. “I call him my weed sommelier,” Greenberg says. “Why not talk about weed like we talk about wine? I enjoy different flavors, I look for different highs. We hope that we’re making it easier for people to get access to stuff.”
Pennington isn’t looking to partner with every restaurant. “This is something we want to keep pretty small,” he explains. “It works with the concept. We’re trying to build Coconut Club as a brand.”
It’s a brand Greenberg has always strived to make synonymous with an island vacation, from the frozen drinks and poke bowls to laid back service style. He wants to make one thing clear. “No, you can’t call us looking to purchase an ounce,” he says. “We’re hoping not to offend anybody. If there were ever a time [for cannabis] it’s now. Whatever gets you through this.”
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