State heath officials said Friday it would be illegal for a Southwest Harbor restaurant to serve lobster sedated with marijuana.

Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound, has used marijuana to help calm some of the lobsters before they are cooked. She said she has served them to her staff, and no trace of the drug has been found in subsequent urine tests.

But state health officials say the lobsters would be considered "adulterated" under the Maine Food Code.

Emily Spencer, a spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement Friday saying state inspectors "would treat food served to consumers at licensed eating places and affected by marijuana, as has been described with this establishment, as adulterated and therefore illegal."

At least for now.

Spencer said state officials still are studying the issue and have not yet issued any findings.

"At this time, [the Maine Health Inspection Program] does not have information on the health implications or effects of 'sedating' lobsters with marijuana," she said.

Gill contends the practice is beneficial for the lobsters. She said it's preferable to throwing a live, non-sedated lobster into boiling water, and the marijuana infused lobsters will have no remnants of THC left in them after cooking.

On Saturday, Gill issued a statement that she plans to she would work with state officials and refine her sedation process. She said the lobsters could be available to the public by mid-October.

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