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A new take on 'grass-fed' meat: Pig farmer markets pork raised on marijuana

Seattle butcher shop finds tasty success in its special marijuana fed pork. KING's Jesse Jones reports.

The possibilities when it comes to marketing meat made from marijuana-fed animals are close to endless, but the man who came up with the idea has decided to simply call them “Pot Pigs.”

William von Scheneidau, owner and founder of BB Ranch in Seattle, didn’t come up with the idea to feed pigs and other animals weed while sitting around a bong in the basement with his buddies.

In fact, he doesn’t even smoke, he said.

Von Scheneidau said the notion came to him when he met the owners of a weed dispensary who told him that, ever since marijuana was legalized in Washington via popular vote last year, they've had extra stems, stalks, and leaves to get rid of.

He simply asked them if he could take what they were planning to throw out, as he once did with a farmer's rotting cantaloupes.

Von Scheneidau said he has always experimented with what he fed his animals and is even currently adding beer and vodka to their troughs.

The marijuana remnants are mostly fed to pigs, but because the farms von Scheneidau works with are free-range, other animals have access to the weed feed as well, giving a new meaning to the phrase “party animals.”

Whenever von Scheneidau introduces a new substance to animals’ diets, he makes sure to have a control group of animals that eat normally from the same family.

He said that the pigs that are fed the marijuana just lie around and barely lift their heads.

“I name all my pigs,” said von Scheneidau “and Ted told Tim they shouldn’t tell me,” whether or not they’re high.

The pigs’ laziness might contribute to the fact that those who eat the weed gain weight 20 percent faster than those who don’t, as one would expect, even though von Scheneidau said the pot pigs don’t actually consume any extra food.

The weight gain contributes to the marbled, fattier texture of the pork that is eventually processed and made into bacon, prosciutto, sausage, pork chops and pulled pork.

Von Scheneidau says that beyond a difference in consistency, people have described the weed-infused meat as “more savory” in “blind bacon tests.”

"The flavor of the fat is extraordinary, [customers] love the marbling of the fat," said von Scheneidau.

And while customers haven’t reported getting high while eating or cooking the pork, von Scheneidau said BB Ranch sells out of the pot pig meat before batches are even processed.

He said the laws are a little complicated right now, but once the dispensaries are able to sell more marijuana, he’ll have more access to what the customers — and the pigs — want.