Chicago Cafe Infusing Food With Delta-8 Draws Long Lines, Complaints

A growing number of businesses in Chicago are cashing in on Delta-8

A new West Loop restaurant that infuses its offerings with a trendy, unregulated drug commonly described as “diet weed” quickly grew so popular that the local alderman had to intervene after neighbors complained about its long lines.

The early success of Canna Cafe, 1301 W. Washington, comes as lawmakers and players in the legal cannabis industry call for a clampdown on Delta-8-THC, a hemp-derived compound similar to the component in weed that gets users high. The restaurant, which opened March 13 to great fanfare, uses the psychoactive substance in various menu items, including burgers, pizzas and drinks.

Tiffani Piearson, a West Garfield Park native, is partnered in the Black-owned restaurant and two other locations in Bensenville and Atlanta. Though Piearson said business in Chicago is “booming,” she feels the hotspot’s diverse clientele has led to targeted harassment from residents of the affluent community who have complained about lines stretching down the block.

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