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‘Hemp’ Diner Piques Appetites

June 4, 1998

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) _ Rick Paul says the only thrill you’ll get from his hemp muffins and burgers is from the taste.

The eye-catching dishes have proven extremely popular at Paul’s 18-seat White Light Diner. But please, he asks, don’t come in hoping for a buzz.

``Anybody who starts giggling after eating these muffins probably smoked a (marijuana) joint before coming to work,″ Paul joked.

Paul started selling his unusual combination of food Tuesday.

The 59-cent muffins, available in three flavors, are made with hemp seeds, which come from a non-potent relative of the intoxicating marijuana plant.

The burgers came from cattle that ate hemp-fortified feed. Paul says they’re less greasy than typical burgers because they were ground with less fat.

Some customers were a little wary.

``If they drug-test me, I won’t show up positive, will I?″ one city firefighter inquired as he waited for his hemp burger.

Hemp-fed beef is rare since hemp production is illegal in the United States. It’s legal to import specially certified seeds and hemp fiber for certain purposes, such as beer-making. The farmer who supplied the beef got his grain from a brewery that couldn’t use the seeds because they were ground too fine.

``It tastes so burgery ... it’s the best burger I ever had,″ customer Charlene Howard said.

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