A south-coast vegetarian restaurant has become the first UK food business to be shut down for infusing its dishes with CBD cannabis oil despite its owners saying they were assured less than a year ago by police and trading standards that the products were legal.
The Canna Kitchen, in Brighton, has been closed since a police raid at the start of May.
The owners, whose slogan is “let food be thy medicine”, face losing hundreds of thousands of pounds and laying off 15 staff.
Drug reform campaigners have described Sussex police’s action as “heavy-handed”.
Sam Evolution, Canna’s director, said he had evidence that the police and the UK Trading Standards Agency had given him the go-ahead to open a restaurant that sold food infused with CBD oil last July.
Speaking for the first time about the raid on 11 May, Evolution said he and his staff went out of their way to inform the police about what they were selling.
“On 1 July 2018 we contacted the Met police via email in an attempt to verify the official UK legal position on the sale of CBD hemp flower. Their response [in the email] was, ‘As long as you have made reasonable inquiries and it has been said that they are legal, then there is no criminal offence.’ We made this inquiry to ensure that we were always operating well within the law.
“We also made a separate inquiry to trading standards, who told us that as far as they could tell, there are no current legal issues posted by the sale of hemp-derived CBD products. It is clear CBD is not a controlled substance. It is freely available from many large high-street chains.”
Separately in March, a police officer from the Sussex constabulary visited the Canna Kitchen and, according to Evolution, told them “he did not want to interrupt our business”.
The officer was given samples of the CBD products, including items of food to take back to police headquarters for testing, Evolution said.
“The products taken included legal [lab-verified] full spectrum organic CBD oils, capsules, pastes, balms and beauty products. As well, there were CBD teas and coffees, chocolates, cakes, pet treats, hemp seeds and hemp flower,” he said.
Two months later up to a dozen officers carried out searches at the restaurant, ejected customers and forced staff to remain in one room for four and a half hours, Evolution said.
“I was stunned to learn this in light of our prior full and open cooperation with the police … it felt completely over the top.”
He said nothing on sale in the restaurant or in a dispensary shop above it involved illicit substances. Evolution added his business ethos was “wholesome, ethical, forward thinking and clean”.
“We have always taken very stringent measures to ensure that we comply with the letter of the law.”
Evolution stressed that Canna operated under Home Office guidelines, which stated that any CBD production containing less 0.2% of THC –tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects is legally permissible.
A Sussex police spokesperson said the 11 May raid was part of an investigation into “money laundering and the supply of class B drugs” in Brighton.
They added: “At the shop in Duke Street a significant quantity of herbal cannabis was seized.”
Evolution said the inquiry into money laundering had nothing to do with his business and was connected to a raid on other premises in Brighton.
On the seizure of herbal cannabis, Evolution said: “It was industrial hemp that was seized from our Duke Street premises, which is imported legally with all taxes and duties paid. We have no connection to any other shop or residence raided in the police operation.”
Transform, which campaigns to reform drug policy, said The Canna Kitchen had been the victim of a heavy-handed police response compounded by confusion over the legality of the cannabis products it was selling.
“This is something that could have been dealt with as a civil licensing issue, rather than a criminal case,” said Danny Kuslick, the head of Transform’s external affairs.
“It may also demonstrate some significant confusion on all sides regarding the legality of the sale of hemp products for consumption, CBD and provision of medical cannabis. This is a situation that requires urgent clarification and guidance to reduce police involvement to a minimum.”
The Home Office said it could not comment on the raid as “operational policing decisions are a matter for chief constables”.
Evolution said he and his family stood to lose £250,000 of an initial investment in what they maintained was a health food business, as well as investors who were ready to buy into an expansion of the Canna Kitchen concept.
“I have a seven-month-old baby and a wife on maternity leave, so financially this has not been a great time to close my business. We fully cooperated with the authorities and even asked for advice from them in case there was anything we should remove from our store. The only conclusion I can come to is that I feel we have been targeted by the police as a test case.”
Miley Cyrus-Backed Cannabis Cafe Brings Amsterdam to Hollywood
America’s first lounge to allow consuming cannabis opens on Monday in West Hollywood. It’s called the Lowell Cafe, and brings a bit of Amsterdam to the U.S. with a fancy name.
For the first time in the country, customers will legally be able to order pot as if it were a bottle of wine — and that in fact is the upscale analogue its owners are aiming for. The pot can be smoked in pre-rolled joints or vaped
The cafe’s opening also offers an extension to the cannabis market, where sales are largely confined to dispensaries and online orders, and tests the appetite for a more open and public consumption of a product that’s still illegal in many jurisdictions.
The trend of consuming cannabis on-site hasn’t taken hold in the U.S. yet. For tourists visiting from Amsterdam where cannabis cafes line the streets, it’s puzzling that it’s legal to buy weed but there’s nowhere to consume it.
“Cannabis consumers have always been relegated to getting their cannabis in a plastic bag while you can go to a dinner party with a beautiful bottle of wine,” David Elias, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Lowell Herb Co., the cafe’s owner. “People want to smoke a joint with their friends in a cafe like they can over a beer — not in the alley or in their car.”
Lowell sells pre-rolled smokes to more than 300 dispensaries. The 46-year-old former Wall Street trader started the business in 2017 with five employees, a year after California’s “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” first passed, and now has a staff of more than 200 and counts pop star Miley Cyrus and other celebrities as investors.
Inside new Leicester coffee shop serves drinks infused with CBD
A new coffee shop has opened in the city but it serves much more than your usual latte or cappuccino.
The shop, in Welford Road, is the first of its kind in Leicester.
MedExCBD serves CBD-infused coffee, made with the world’s first ever CBD coffee machine.
MedExCBD has been launched by Leicester couple Kieron Roberts and Lamees Zamakda
both of whom have experienced the health benefits of CBD, and are keen to share it with others.
“I used to take CBD oil for my anxiety,” Lamees said.
“It made such a difference that I was able to reduce my medication and eventually just take this natural alternative.”
Kieron, meanwhile, used CBD cream as pain relief after he fractured his neck and broke his collar bone in an accident.
After experiencing the benefits themselves, the couple further researched the products available, and decided to fill a gap in the market by opening a coffee shop in Leicester.
Lamees added: “We are looking at the beneficial properties of the hemp plant and how cannabidiol extract can holistically improve the lives of many people.
“Cannabidiol extract is renowned for its multitude of health benefits and healing properties for the mind and body.”
The CBD coffee machine is from Somerset-based company The Coffee Boss, which uses ethically-sourced coffee beans.
A 15mg dose of CBD is added to each of the hot drinks at MedEXCBD – which include coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
Starbuds cannabis coffee shop opens its doors in the UK
A cannabis coffee shop of the future
Sheffield’s very first cannabis themed coffee shop has opened and yes, it is legal!
A coffee shop with a difference has officially opened its doors in Sheffield – selling cuppas laced with cannabis.
Starbuds Coffee in Chesterfield Road has already been up and running for a few months but owner Imogen Pollard has now officially launched her new business – and spoken out to assure customers that the shop is totally legal.
A cannabis coffee shop has opened its doors to customers in the UK offering people the opportunity to try their CBD infused products.
Starbuds cannabis coffee shop in Sheffield recently opened its doors to offer coffees, cakes and other foods infused with CBD in the wake of the new CBD health trend.
“The first thing people ask when they order a coffee is ‘will it get me high?’ Absolutely not because if it did, we wouldn’t be allowed to be in business.
“We want to get the message out there that we’re offering something a bit different, but its not about getting stoned or high or anything like that.
The cafe, at 111 Chesterfield Road, is open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.
“We are offering coffees and cakes that can help people with ailments and medical conditions. That’s what the shop is all about.”
Starbuds cannabis coffee shop is selling a number of CBD products including paste, topicals, CDB oil, boiled sweets infused with oils, and will be infusing CBD into food, such as dressings and salsa, in the future. The products are part of their own CBD range named ‘How’.
Alongside coffees and snacks, the shop sells eight different flavours of medical CBD flower, the non-psychoactive flower that can be used for medical purposes, including
tropicana, blackberry, blue dragon, cheese, strawberry, amnesia, grape and white widow – ranging from 10.5% to 14.9% CBD content.
Imogen, 34, was moved to start up Starbuds (and more about that name later!) after seeing CBD cafes springing up in other parts of the country.
It’s not the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high called THC.
Instead, its a product that many users believe to have medicinal properties which help with pain relief for a number of conditions including cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
It also helps people with stress and anxiety relax.
The shop conjures up the air of a traditional Amsterdam coffee shop – the Dutch city where of course, its legal to smoke cannabis in public.
But despite depictions of cannabis leaves across the premises, that’s where the similarity ends.
“We wanted to emulate that vibe,” she adds. “But at the end of the day, we’re just a coffee shop offering drinks with CBD in them.”
However, the shop is not without some controversy – American coffee giant Starbucks has already ordered Imogen to change the name of the cafe.
“It was a cheeky nod to Starbucks,” she added, “but they said the name and logo was too similar to theirs and want us to change it.
“We don’t really have a choice because they are so huge, so we’ll have to think of something new. It has given people a laugh when they have seen the name driving past though.”
She plans to extend the range of CBD products on offer over the coming months as well as applying for an alcohol licence.
Added Imogen: “If it was illegal, we wouldn’t be allow to sell it. Lots of our customers say it helps them relax, it takes away pain and helps ease them through the day.
“It help shifts the brain fuzz that we all get in our daily lives and takes the edge off things for a lot of people.”
Personal benefits from CBD
Mr Chu said: “Me and one of the partners were going down the health and wellbeing route and decided to go with a CBD cannabis coffee shop. At the time I was under enormous amounts of stress and developed a Tourette’s-like tick that I could not get rid of.
“I started taking prescriptions to counteract it, but nothing worked, so I tried CBD oil. In ten or twenty minutes the twitches had gone, and they never came back. After that I carried on taking it and realised my mental health had improved and my aches and pains had gone, along with lots of other benefits.
“I started doing more research and met a lot of people. I heard so many stories from people about how cannabis oil has helped them. People have gone from taking ten or fifteen medications a day down to one – just a couple of drips of oil. It is amazing.
“There is a lot of confusion about the product – the first thing people think is ‘am I going to get high?’ but it is nothing like that. The CBD products are non-psychoactive so they cannot possibly have a psychoactive effect on anyone.”
A cannabis coffee shop of the future
Mr Chu continued: “We opened the doors and saw people trickle in – now we have built up relationships and have many customers from the community who meet up here regularly and love the chilled atmosphere.
“The medical cannabis is a different product – this is a supplement that can be incorporated with other products. We hope people’s attitudes towards cannabis will change and we feel a lot more research needs to be done – this product needs to be in supermarkets.
“People have been on medication for years that has not helped them – one person had Lupus and has never found any relief in prescription creams. After buying 800 mg oil that is used directly on the skin the lupus has cleared up for them and they swear by it.
“I hope in the next five years we will be at the place Canada and America are now and coffee shops like this will hopefully become more normalised.”
CBD oil on BBC
cannabis is popular for calming anxiety
Natalie, who has bought a bottle of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil online, has a few questions she wants answering before she decides whether to take it.
On this journey Natalie meets a hemp farmer, a scientist and tests the product at a laboratory.
CBD products, which are made from a cannabis extract, are very popular but currently there is no specific regulation about their production.
CBD cafe selling drinks infused with cannabis
Bristol’s most recent addition to the city’s food and drink scene.
But this café is slightly different from the rest in that it has food and drinks on the menu that have been infused with cannabis.
Mary Jane’s, a name commonly used as a slang term for marijuana
And the slightly different offering is proving popular with Bristolians, with queues reaching to the door of customers wanting to try the new place.
At Mary Jane’s customers have the option of ordering a selection of food and drinks, including coffees, smoothies and milkshakes, containing CBD if they wish.
To accompany the range of coffees and other hot drinks on offer, Mary-Jane’s will be serving up a range of locally-made cakes and treats with a focus on catering for vegans, people with other dietary restrictions and the health-conscious.
Mary Jane’s will be Bristol’s first CBD coffee shop
Mary-Jayne’s opens to the public this Friday (May 31).
A café which will have hot drinks infused with cannabis on the menu is opening in Bristol this week.
“CBD infused with a Mary-Jane’s coffee it tastes amazing.
Mary Jane’s founder Jon Antoniou said: “Having tried various CBD products on the market I felt that there must be a better way to take it daily than on its own.
“Bristol is a real hub for healthy living and we want our products to reflect that so whether you’re gluten, lactose or nut intolerant or just believe that veganism isn’t just for January, we have options for you.”
Crussh has become the first UK grab-and-go chain to introduce cannabidiol products to its coffee offering after launching CBD oil boosters today.👍
Crussh launched its first iteration of the brand at City, University of London, last month after signing a franchise partnership with the foodservice provider in 2018.
CBD oil will be available across the brand’s 35 sites in the capital, but will not yet be available through its foodservice partner, Sodexo.
+ CBD – It’s the latest buzz word in the world of coffee. You can now add CBD oil to any coffee for £1.50. And relax…
The oil is offered as a £1.50 supplement by the health-food concept. It is made from naturally occurring compounds found in hemp and does not contain the psychoactive element – THC – contained in cannabis.
Proponents say CBD can help diminish mild anxiety as well as symptoms of epilepsy. Bars, restaurants and cafés across London, Manchester and Bristol have begun offering the substance in different foods and drinks, including truffles, cocktails and frozen yogurt.
Well CBD is short for cannabidiol, it is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the hemp plant. It doesn’t contain the psychoactive part of the plant that cannabis contains, known as THC and there are numerous studies currently testing its effectiveness in treating a whole host of ailments, from mild anxiety to epilepsy…
Massachusetts cannabis cafes💜
If you’re at least 21 in Massachusetts, you can legally buy recreational marijuana at more than a dozen stores that have opened over the past several months.
But when it comes to using those products, the law says you can only do so discreetly and privately.
The state’s Cannabis Control Commission voted 3-2 recently to accept the recommendations of a working group that explored the possibility of licensing social-consumption sites for marijuana, a move that potentially would open a new frontier for cannabis businesses and consumers in the Bay State.
The plan calls for a test rollout of such venues in up to a dozen Massachusetts communities. But don’t look for Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes to spring up in the near future. It took more than two years after voters approved a recreational marijuana question for the first retail stores to open, and a full — or even partial — rollout of social-consumption venues could easily take just as long, if it happens at all.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PLAN?
The recommendations narrowly approved by the commission allow for a test of social-consumption sites in 12 volunteer communities, including five that participated in the working group: Amherst, North Adams, Provincetown, Somerville and Springfield. Up to seven others that want to participate will be chosen.
State regulators would be authorized to review applications and grant licenses in those communities for establishments such as cannabis cafes, where people could buy and consume marijuana on the premises. The plan also envisions “event host licenses” for certain one-time gatherings — an outdoor concert, perhaps.
The municipalities would have discretion over the types of licenses and how many can be granted.
Providing opportunities for minority-owned businesses and others that have to date been largely excluded from the legal marijuana industry is listed among the “primary attributes” of the pilot program.
Data collected during the trial period will determine if — and when — social-consumption sites would be allowed elsewhere in Massachusetts.
WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS?
The working group identified and attempted to address several concerns with social-consumption sites, including the potential for underage pot use, impaired driving and smoking-related health concerns.
Licensees would be required to have plans in place for assuring that no one under 21 enters an on-site consumption area. Employees of the establishments would be required to complete “responsible server” training that includes guidance on cannabis potency and THC absorption times to prevent overserving of patrons.
Establishments also would need to figure out how to determine when a customer is too impaired to drive and have a plan to assist those customers in finding alternative transportation. This part is tricky because there is currently no approved standard for marijuana impairment, and the effects of some products, notably edibles, take considerably longer to show up than others.
Under the working group’s plan, smoking marijuana would not be allowed at cannabis cafes or other indoor establishments, for health and safety reasons. Indoor vaping would be allowed, if the building has adequate ventilation.
WHEN MIGHT ALL THIS START?
Likely not anytime soon.
The commission has invited the public to offer input on the plan, and final regulations would have to be drafted and approved.
The Legislature must also provide at least tacit approval for the plan. Secretary of State William Galvin has determined the state’s current marijuana law doesn’t provide a mechanism for voters in a city or town to weigh in on whether on-site consumption should be allowed in their communities.
Bills to achieve that have been filed in the House and Senate, but no public hearing has been scheduled and it doesn’t appear to be among current priorities for lawmakers.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who would be called upon to sign any such legislation, has been highly skeptical of cannabis cafes but hasn’t ruled them out in the future.
WHAT HAVE OTHER MARIJUANA STATES DONE?
Nearly every U.S. state with legal recreational marijuana has grappled with the question of social use, with differing outcomes.
The working group said it examined rules in other states, including Alaska’s recently approved law that allows pot to be used in designated areas within some stores that sell it.
San Francisco and some other California communities have moved to allow pot lounges, and the Las Vegas City Council approved a plan earlier this month to authorize venues in the city, though not in casinos.
Last year, then-Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill to allow marijuana retailers to create so-called tasting rooms.