Galway-run CBD business seeks clarity on law following second raid

By Philip Downes

A Galway based CBD business has called for clarity over the legal status of the plant, after their Kilkenny shop was raided by Gardaí last week.

CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is an active ingredient in the cannabis plant hemp used by some for treating pain and anxiety.

Little Collins CBD Dispensary, based in Galway but with a shop in Kilkenny, saw €20,000 worth of their products including CBD-infused teas and oils seized by Kilkenny Gardaí under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

It is the second raid on the business – the Galway shop had its hemp flowers seized in May 2019.

CBD
Photo courtesy of Sarah Slevin

The European Court of Justice ruled last November that hemp, cannabis with less than 0.3% of the psychoactive compound THC, is safe. However, The Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 states that any trace of THC is illegal under the act.

Speaking to Newstalk on Wednesday, Little Collins owner JP O’Brien argued that it was unfair for Gardaí to continue raiding his business.

“We’ve been giving [customers] this product for two and a half years, and haven’t had one complaint. Hemp with 0.2% or less THC, people use as a herbal remedy to help with things like pain [and] arthritis,” he said.

CBD
Photo courtesy of Robbie Walsh

The Hemp Federation of Ireland has accused the Department of Health of publicly misrepresenting the status of CBD as a narcotic.

“It is a very serious matter that [Health] Minister [Stephen] Donnelly, the HPRA and the FSAI, two important national Competent Authorities under the Minister for Health, are publicly misrepresenting the status of substances controlled within the UN Single Convention and misrepresenting EU legislation and food regulations,” said a statement.

The federation has called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to address this “outrageous situation before any further, unnecessary harm is visited on innocent Irish people”.

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