ATHENS — SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — The white van with tinted windows pulled up to the driveway with its cargo - cardboard boxes full of marijuana. And the customers eagerly awaited it, grunting and snorting.
The deal was going down for three hungry Berkshire pigs from a Washington state farm, and a German television crew was there to film it.
Part flavor experiment, part green recycling, part promotion and bolstered by the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state, pot excess has been fed to the hogs by their owners, pig farmer Jeremy Gross and Seattle butcher William von Schneidau, since earlier this year.
Gross and von Schneidau now sell their "pot pig" cuts at von Schneidau's butcher shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market at a premium price — bacon is $17 a pound while chops go for $16.90 a pound.
"He's like 'let's see what kind of flavor it gives it.' So we ran it and it gave good flavor," Gross said. "It's like anything else, what you feed them is what they're going to taste like. It's almost like a savory alfalfa fed cow or alfalfa fed pig."
The meat, though, won't get people high.
It's just a flavor infusion.
While the passage of recreational marijuana inspired the experiment, Gross and von Schneidau get the marijuana excess — roots, stems, and other part of the plant that are grinded and not used for consumption — from a medical marijuana dispensary. At the butcher shop, cuts from the pot pigs are signed with a little drawing of a marijuana leaf stuck on them with a toothpick.
"It tastes like the best pork chop you've ever had," said Matt McAlman, who runs Top Shelf Organic, the dispensary that is providing the pot plant waste for the pigs to eat.