SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine (AP) — These lobsters are going to pot in more ways than one.
A Maine lobster pound is banking on using marijuana to try to make cooking the crustaceans a little more humane. The business, Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, is owned by a registered medical marijuana caregiver.
The owner, Charlotte Gill, put a test lobster in a box with a few inches of water before marijuana smoke was blown into the box, WMTW-TV reported . The animal was calmer for the next three weeks, and she released it into the ocean, she said.
Gill plans to use the new method at customers' requests, and then build a larger tank to sedate multiple lobsters at once.
It's unknown whether science says pot smoke actually calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat. But Win Watson, a zoologist with University of New Hampshire, said the possibility is worth studying.
Whether marijuana can influence a lobster's behavior depends on if the crustaceans react to cannabinoids, the chemical compounds in marijuana, he said.
"It's just an under-studied field, and maybe they play a role in other animals," he said. "I think it's possible they have receptors for these, and it affects their behavior."