Irish CBD cafe forced to close after selling illegal CBD “flowers”
- Blooms Cafe was shut down due to selling illegal CBD flowers
- The owners falsely believed they could legally retail cannabis so long as it had less than 0.2% THC
- The retail of any raw cannabis/hemp product is illegal in the UK and Ireland
- Could this trigger more closures across the UK for shops selling CBD flowers?
Amsterdam-style cafe Blooms Café in Waterford has been forced to close due to the confusion over the legality of selling its THC infused products
Blooms Café, an Amsterdam-style cannabis cafe in Ireland, was forced to shut up shop earlier this week.
The café owners believed they were able to legally sell CBD products, so long as they contained less than 0.2% THC.
Blooms Cafe in Waterford, Ireland, was forced to close after legal confusion over CBD flowers
Under EU regulations, all hemp grown and sold must have a 0.2% THC content or lower to be considered legal.
This rule, however, contrary to popular misconception, does not apply to finished products (i.e. CBD oils and balms) and raw cannabis/hemp flowers.
Blooms updated their customer base on the current situation in a social media post:
“To all of our loyal customers, it is our deep regret to inform you that due to the fact that we are NOT permitted to sell CBD products with a THC content of below 0.2 per cent, it is no longer viable to keep the premises running.
“The café is now closed. A huge thank you to everyone who helped us set up and to all who worked so hard with us and supported us along the way.”
“Legal” CBD flowers often look similar to regular, high-THC cannabis. Unfortunately, they remain illegal in the UK.
A spokesman for The Gardaí, the Irish police, disclosed to The Telegraph that it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the closure as there were “prosecutions pending pertaining to this matter”.
“To all of our loyal customers, it is our deep regret to inform you that due to the fact that we are NOT permitted to sell CBD products with a THC content of below 0.2 percent, it is no longer viable to keep the premises running.”
– Blooms Cafe
The owners of Blooms were in contact with the Gardaí, the Food Standards Agency and the Health Products Regulatory Authority while they were establishing the business, claiming the bodies “were helpful and encouraging and we have built good relationships thus far.”
The Café already had encounters with the law; in October, the Gardaí confiscated some of the “smokeable” CBD buds for testing.
Initially, they were given the green light to continue trading.
Countless head shops and CBD/hemp shops across the UK are now retailing ‘high CBD, low THC,’ cannabis flowers; often advertising them as a legal alternative to ‘illegal’ high-THC cannabis.
CBD flowers offer users, often patients, an alternative to high-THC strains of cannabis.
The café’s Facebook page explained why they were selling the presumed-legal product:
“High CBD strains are perfect for those who want a relaxing and calming experience, but do not want the mind-altering effects caused by THC, the compound found in illegal cannabis.”
With news earlier this week emerging that CBD products could be banned for 18 months across the UK, the closure of Blooms could signal the beginning of the end for the blossoming CBD industry.
With authorities cracking down on shops and retailers who are blatantly flaunting the legal grey area CBD currently sits in, the CBD bubble could be about to burst in the UK.
References and further Reading