An Irish businessman who runs two legitimate CBD shops in County Cork, Ireland will find out later today if he will be arrested and imprisoned for the sale of the non-intoxicating cannabis plant-derived compound. In an exclusive conversation with The Extract, Jim Weathers, owner of ‘Puff n Stuff’ CBD store says that he is scheduled to attend the local Garda (police) station later this afternoon to answer questions surrounding a law enforcement raid on his business.
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The genesis of the incident occurred in November last year when a customer purchased CBD flower from Mr Weathers’ store. After exiting the store the customer was pulled aside and searched by police who confiscated the item. The police then entered the premises, despite the owner informing the officers that, “the CBD flower from the UK contained only the negligible, legal amount of intoxicating THC and that I had certificates of analysis to prove it.” The police took a sample from the store to analyse it yet he received no feedback from the police with regards the samples.
Inconsistent and uninformed policing
Mr. Weathers told the Extract he subsequently tried to arrange meetings with the drugs unit to explain that his CBD product was on sale throughout the country. “In fact within a kilometer distance of this premises, there are 8 best shops selling CBD products.” He added
“They didn't even know the difference between hemp and cannabis”
No news was good news for several months until May of this year when one of Mr Weathers’ stores was again raided and 2kg of CBD products which he uses in his CBD coffee and tea shop confiscated on the grounds that the sample from November contained THC. He was advised by police to stop selling CBD products and although he protested that CBD was widely available in major chains such as Holland & Barrett he duly obliged for fear of repercussions.
Fast forward to the 12th of August when Mr Weathers received a phone call from the police advising him of a warrant for his arrest. He was told to come into the station on Tuesday 13th and at the time of writing is concerned that a custodial sentence may be implemented.
Poor government communication to blame
Speaking to The Extract, Mr Weathers said he was dumbfounded by his treatment and believes that his arrest and potential imprisonment is down to a lack of knowledge sharing between arms of government. “It is frustrating that the health authorities have not shared their information on CBD with the Gardai (police) authorities,” he said. The Irish Health Service Executive and the EU generally have confirmed that CBD is allowed to be sold so long as it contains less than 0.2% of THC, but the police are ruling from the premise that according to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, THC in any form is illegal. The department of health has said it hopes to amend legislation to allow for CBD products but this has yet to be actioned.
The Extract has scheduled a follow up call with Mr Weathers but contact had not been made at the time of going to print.