The owner of Mushroom Headshop & CBD Hemp Botanicals Store, Preston, which has been open for two years, has said that he has become the first person in the UK to be convicted for selling CBD flowers.
In what he called his shortest ever appearance in court, he warned that the precedent meant there will be “no defence” for those who are waiting for their day in court.
In a video posted to Facebook, he said: “So there has been a conviction today in court. I was found guilty on possession of intent to supply class B drugs, the hemp flower is in fact illegal.”
He went on to explain where the line is drawn when it comes to legal hemp products in the eyes of the law.
“The only part of the hemp flower plant that is legal to use is the stem and the seeds, the flower bud is not legal in the UK.
“Anyone who is selling hemp flower at this time or who has been raided, or charged or released pending further investigation, will be convicted for it. You do not have a defence, you have been selling class B drugs.
“I’ve actually been in court today, for the smallest amount of time I’ve been on a trial in my life. It was over pretty quickly.”
Recently there has been a crackdown on CBD shops that has been played out in the media. People have been quick to point out that high street brands like Holland & Barrett have been selling CBD advertised in their window for a number of years now and even advertise on TV.
“The judge was certain that Holland and Barrett don’t sell CBD – which is a lie.”
And that is true – it is a lie. You only have to go on to Holland & Barretts website to see that they sell CBD products. These products are produced by Jacob Hooey which are made from hemp paste, which is unpurified CBD containing whole plant extract (flowers concentrated down) so it contains THC still.
With this case resulting in a positive conviction for the sale of CBD flowers from a high street shop, it looks like the war on so-called safer forms of cannabis is being ramped up. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not get you high.
CBD flowers are grown on a 48-acre greenhouse site by British Sugar for use in GW Pharmaceuticals Epidiolex product, which is not legal here but is in the US. The CBD is extracted, isolated into a pure crystal form and then put in an olive oil tincture with strawberry flavouring. It’s so safe it is given to children – which must be why adults should not be allowed to buy it in shops!
This week we reported on a study carried out at the UK’s prestigious York University in which researchers looked into the CBD flower market in Italy. The results of the study showed that access to “cannabis lite” or CBD flowers on the high street has resulted in losses to the mafia who run black market sales. Another side effect of the sale of CBD flowers where people can safely access them is people are reducing their prescription drugs.
The Italian government has reacted to this by saying they are going to crackdown on the CBD shops.
Ian Hamilton, Senior Lecturer in Addiction and Mental Health at the University of York, told us: “In some ways it is surprising to see how popular these products have become. However it also points to the limitations that many traditional medicines have in their effectiveness and the side effects people experience. Many people will view cannabis products as natural and safer than pills and medicines generally. They might have been influenced into using cannabis products by the considerable media coverage there has been of the potential these products offer.
“It is important that people are given choice but that needs to be based on up to date evidence of how effective or not cannabis-based products are for particular conditions. Unfortunately much of that evidence is not available as yet, or if it is not in a format that is accessible to a lay audience. There also appears to be some prejudice within the professional community, particularly those who could prescribe these products. For example, some doctors have expressed concern that these products could be diverted onto the black market. This is clearly not likely to happen as it wouldn’t make economic sense and the medicinal market is very different to the recreational one.
“There is clearly an opportunity for those responsible for policy across Europe to explore better ways to regulate cannabis products and ensure equitable access to them. At the moment it appears it is only those with money that are able to secure cannabis products through legitimate channels. That seems grossly unfair.”