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Montana's first "Canna-Dinner" held at The Billings Depot

Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 08:33:24-05

BILLINGS — BILLINGS - Rims on Fire was the first of its kind in our area-on the agenda for the evening-artisinal cocktails complimenting a four course, fine dining spread.

So, what made this event so different?

Well, roller skating wait-staff, top-level cuisine, hand-crafted beverages and cannabis were a part of Rims on Fire at The Billings Depot Saturday.

"We want to have the coolest, most funky reggae party that Billings has ever seen, and we want to promote it in a professional way that people have never seen before," Roots Music Co-owner Matt Melvin said.

Though the Rims on Fire event marks the first of its kind in Montana, marijuana tourism has grown in recent years in states with legislation allowing it.

"People aren't going to say I smoke cannabis or maybe they're going to feel uncomfortable because they're a professional or they have kids, and we want to say that it is acceptable, contributing member of society that uses and promotes cannabis," Melvin said.

The dinner menu consisted of four courses prepared by the Petroleum Club's own Chef Jeremy Evans, and Matt Melvin.

Organizers worked to insure they were in compliance with state, county, and local authorities, and all guests were over 21 years of age, and legal card-holders.

"So this year, rec. laws went into place that a person can hold up to an ounce on their person at a given time as long as it is outside of public view," Roots Music Co-Music and Event Coordinator Co-Owner Kyle Melby said.

Cocktails were hand-crafted to compliment each dish, and infused with CBD-a non-psychoactive compound that has boomed in popularity in recent years for use of pain relief, anxiety and sleep disorders.

The evening was presented by Roots Music as a collaboration of local artists, the culinary industry, and the public.

"The amount of dispensaries we have in the state, the amount of people that are card-holders. Citizens voted to legalize recreational marijuana. They feel like it's the right time to do this. And we feel like it's the right time to educate, capitalize, and try to make this a beautiful thing," Roots Music Co-Music and Event Coordinator Co-Owner Daniel McCuin said.

Blind Bison, a pop-up speakeasy staffed by Trevan Sparboe and Bryan Taylor-was in the house, with hand crafted cocktails paired with each dish.

"So far it's been such a fun collaboration, their excitement keeps us excited," Melby said of the duo.

The music at the event was all provided by local entertainers: Kyzvet, Subvasive, Beautiful Existence and Wrinse.

The event was originally planned to be held in The Post Building, but due to overwhelming interest, was moved into the main Billings Depot hall.

"Montana operates in its own way, we probably won't have things go down like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, we're end up figuring this out our own way," Melby said, "Starting an event like we did here, I feel like when it becomes normalized like that, the collective knowledge about everything.people will know more about it, the perks that come with it, how to use it safely, correctly, how to use it for what they need help with."

Part of the transition into this education includes reducing the stigma attached.

Diferent wine comes from different regions. And that's the same thing with cannabis.And even within the cannabis plant you have different terpines that are showcased based on the genetics of the plant, and right now the craft is to mix those together and create different terpenes. Those terpenes are lemon, lavender, so all these different things interact with your body differently and it's pain relief, it's PTSD, it's pain control," Melvin said," But it's also more personal. It allows people to slow their thoughts or get sleep or be a better parent, or a better professional. For me it's personal, it's spiritual. You know the Rastafarian beliefs run through my blood."

When asked what the essence of "Rasta" could be defined as, Melby said, "To sum it up as quick as I could it's my connection to everyone around me, that's there to have a good time with me you know, emitting that good energy, I get that good feeling from, so I try to emit that back. Love."

Roots Music Co. is working toward a broad collaboration between artists, those within the cannabis and culinary industries, and the public.