Colorado chain Hapa Sushi is hoping to capitalize on the legalization of cannabis in the state by offering its customers a "pairing menu" that matches specific strains of marijuana with certain sushi selections.
Or that’s what they want you to think anyway.
“This is entertainment. It’s just for fun. For people to come in and laugh a little, if they can or learn a little,” said Hapa Sushi Corporate Manager Jessica Brookhart. “A few of our pairings are the Pakastani Kush and Pakalolo Shrimp… Purple Rain and Poke Don.”
Since it’s still illegal to smoke on the premises, the pot pairing menu is actually a parody. The joke is just a part of the chain’s "Happy Legalization” marketing campaign.
"The management of the Hapa Restaurant Group reserves the right to serve customers who discuss: 'How cool their pets are and that fish would make cool pets but you would have to live in the ocean to hang out with them and this weed is really good and do you think pets like us as much as we like them ...'" reads one ad from the new campaign.
"Our dining room is ergonomically designed to reduce paranoia,” says another.
According to Professor Margaret Campbell of the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business, this sort of marketing capitalizes on “borrowed interest.”
"Hapa has very clearly created a longterm vibe of being a young, uninhibited kind of business," Campbell said. "They clearly have chosen an overall target that fits that. There's very little risk of a downside."