Ganjapreneurs eye marijuana edibles market

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight, Portland entrepreneurs are eyeing pot edibles; police seek a man suspected of vandalizing a halal grocery; and a local restaurant introduces its latest substitute for tipping.

What we’re talking about

Greater Portland entrepreneurs cooking up plans for cannabis ediblesFrom weed-infused sports bars to high-end dark chocolate blended with cannabis and studded with Maine blueberries and sea salt, crafty ganjapreneurs are lining up behind the scenes in Maine’s foodiest region despite the haze of uncertainty hanging over legal pot. Thinking of getting in on the green rush? Don’t wait too long. — Kathleen Pierce

Halal grocery vandalized — Police are looking for a suspect who is believed to have taken a baseball bat to the windows of the Ahram Halal Market on Christmas Eve. Police say they are investigating but do not know what motivated the vandalism. The grocery became the object of ire in October, when it was reported that the FBI were investigating the then owner in connection with suspected welfare fraud.  

Portland dumpling house makes latest change to tipping policy — This month chef Cara Stadler rolled out her new no tip policy at Bao Bao Dumpling House. Instead of tacking on an 18 percent surcharge, as the restaurateur originally planned, she raised menu prices so diners at Bao Bao and her Brunswick hot spot Tao Yuan are not surprised when the check arrives. “We have made sure to let our patrons know of the change when they sit,” director of operations Chris Peterman stated in a release. — Kathleen Pierce

Another Soirée Franglais — The Portland Culture Exchange is hosting a second French and English language exchange night at African watering hole Chez Okapi on St. John Street, Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It’s a chance to meet new Mainers and practice language skills with native speakers of both persuasions. — Troy R. Bennett

Tweet of the day:

Troy R. Bennett, upon hearing today’s tragic news:

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The Big Idea

As overdose deaths mounted, opioid makers upped payments to doctors  — “While the opioid crisis deepened in Maine over the past three years, drug companies selling opioids increasingly showed up on the doorsteps of physicians’ offices — offering free food and beverages, consulting or speaking fees, discount coupons for drugs and other freebies. The total payments to doctors related to opioids doubled from 2014 to 2015,” the Press Herald’s Joe Lawlor reports.

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