Plymouth’s first store selling legal CBD oil is on a high
It’s not a joint, it’s a shop and it’s Plymouth first specialising in selling products derived from cannabis plants. Oh, and it’s called Holy Smoke because it’s rented from a church.
Plymouth couple Matthew Wachtel and Georgina Pitt say business is booming after they transformed their waning fashion outlet into a store selling primarily CBD products at the turn of 2019.
Since then they have been making as much money in a day as they were in a week when they were marketing only baseball caps, tee-shirts and tracksuits.
It’s because the world has gone mad for CBD, or Cannabidiol, a substance derived from the flowers of the cannabis sativa plant.
CBD is legal in the UK because it is non-psychoactive, in other words it doesn’t get you as high
But it is claimed to be effective in treating afflictions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and even, in its strongest concentrates, side effects of cancer.
“We’re making a living from cannabis, I never thought I’d say that,” said Georgina.
“Retail was going down hill, so we started this. There’s been a massive difference in our takings, we can’t believe it.
“People wouldn’t spend £30 on a tee-shirt but they will spend £30 on our of our other products. We can’t give medical advice, but we can sell it. We can’t tell people it will do anything for them, they have to do their own research. But people have said it’s changed their life.”
That includes oils, teas, cookies, vape juice, drinks, and more. The best seller, however, is the raw cannabis flower, with the psychoactive ingredients removed, which people can grind themselves and put in tea, cakes or whatever.
They are displayed in the attractively laid out store, with is adorned on the outside with a fetching mural of reggae great Bob Marley, alongside products
You can even give it to your stressed out dog or cat
Holy Smoke – thus dubbed because its The Pepperpot home near Drake Circus mall is rented from the nearby Methodist Central Hall – sells the grinders too.
And none of this is cheap. The products, mainly imported from the USA or Switzerland, cost a lot by usual retail standards: 10 sweets for £20, a cola drink for £3.99.
The raw flowers cost from £13.50 for a gramme to as much as £315 for 28 grammes, and come with names such as Blue Dream, White Russian, Bubblegum, Amnesia and Caramelo.
Now the couple are looking ahead with confidence and are about to launch a website providing online sales and are scouting out premises in Newquay, Cornwall, for a shop and cafe.
So far, Holy Smoke pretty much has the CBD market sewn up in Plymouth, but with the growing popularity of the products Georgina expects that to change.
“There’s a shop in Saltash,” she said. “But they will probably start popping up everywhere now.”
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified in cannabis plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. As of 2018, preliminary research on cannabidiol included studies about its effect on anxiety, movement disorders and pain.
Cannabidiol can be inhaled, smoked, vaped or as an aerosol spray, or swallowed.
It may be supplied as CBD oil containing only CBD as the active ingredient, with no added tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the part of cannabis that makes people high.
CBD can also be sold as hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid.