Cadbury’s cannabis connection

Richard Cadbury was a benevolent man. He endowed Birmingham with a meeting place including Pacha House for the enrichment and education of its people, established an adult school in Highgate, and was an avid supporter of the temperance movement.

The Committee meeting I attended for the Central Birmingham Division (CBD) Compassion Club spent a great deal of time talking about how a fixed venue would be a real advantage and provide a focus for the Club's ambitious development plans.

Committee members of the CBD compassion club have big ideas and have organised a lot of well-supported CBD events already. Former local MP, Roger Godsiff, even came along to the meeting and agreed to support them. It will be interesting to see if the new MP, Tahir Ali, is as vocal in supporting them.

The driving force behind the CBD Compassion Club is Doreta (“Dee”) Belle, she is someone that by her very force of nature gets things done. This month's meeting focused on dealing with the local council to try and establish a permanent residency. The Compassion Club normally meets at Pacha House, part of Cadbury’s legacy to Birmingham, but have recently relocated to Midlands Art Centre in Cannon Hill Park, which is where I met them. Regular meetings at Pacha House will be the CBD goal of 2020. I can see why. Even at this committee meeting, it is obvious that the group is focused on self-help. The collective wisdom and benefit of group experience provides members with mutual support and individual strength.

At the moment, they are looking to establish a holiday destination in Spain because of its more tolerant cannabis position, ensuring members can retain their medication while enjoying sunnier climes. This is just one of the many future benefits membership can give. CBD Compassion Club operates on an invitation-only membership. To attend meetings there is a small annual membership fee and you have to be invited by a member.

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CBD Compassion Club

Aside from the self-help aspect, the club has a lot to offer. The crowdsourced knowledge and communal feedback that the committee users provide to suppliers is invaluable. The supply of CBD edibles and getting dosages right is a very difficult thing to work out for a novice. Community advice and knowledge empower the individual, turning edibles and guesswork into medables (medicated edibles) and precise dosage information.

The CBD Club is part of a new movement gaining support and wider acceptance, especially with the rapid growth of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the wellness market. The CBD revolution has highlighted a new option that to replace opioids with natural cannabis or devastating side-effects. The rise of botanically-based supplements currently driving the CBD wellness industry means that traditional pharmaceutical companies are worried. There is a new breed of Nutraceutical companies that are empowering people to make wider, more informed choices.

The fact that even now, after the UK government has recognised its medicinal value, cannabis is still almost impossible to get and extremely expensive, is a disgrace. Cannabis clubs are spreading through word of mouth, and developing strength in numbers. It is little surprise that groups are popping up all over and, following the Dallas Buyers Club model, breaking the mould, creating new ways for people to access cannabis’ globally recognised benefits. The products offered conform to community standards and are judged by community sourcing.

These clubs are an invaluable resource for those that can't wait for the establishment to recant its 100-year cannabis prohibition. Products are being forced down a pharmaceutical validation model that is not fit for purpose. The traditional MHRA product accreditation method will take years and huge investment and deliver no benefit, just delays.

A brave minority have chosen to stand up and rebel and we will all benefit from that bravery. I for one wish the cannabis clubs the best and I stand with them against the tyranny of vested ignorance. Let's all look towards a new decade of cannabis renaissance.

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Tim Henley

Tim is a commentator on the Cannabis industry. When not in a Hemp field, he is always working for The Extract to find the ethical and sustainable stories of the future.

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