A vape shop in Plymouth was raided by police this morning in what could be the first crackdown on the newly flourished and legally-contentious CBD hemp flower industry.
Armed with a warrant issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act, the officers proceeding to confiscate products containing CBD.
Product seized include CBD rich hemp flowers, hemp tea, CBD and CBD oil.
Following the raid, Trevor Dodd from THCfreeweed.com, the supplier of the CBD products to the Plymouth vape shop, drove three hours to Charles Cross Police Station.
He took samples of his products and challenged the police to arrest him. He was “laughed at”, he said in a later report from the Plymouth Herald.
Additionally, his samples, which included raw hemp flowers, were not seized. He wasn’t even asked what they were.
Mr Dodd is quoted in the Herald as saying: “We import CBD flowers from Switzerland and other countries, we wholesale it and have a shop where we sell CBD-related products, which are totally, 100 per cent legal in the UK.
“Earlier today Vaping Is Personal Plymouth had their shop raided by five police officers and all their products containing CBD were seized and told they were illegal. Roughly £3,000 of stock has been confiscated.
“What we’re hoping is that the police realise they were ill-informed and don’t understand CBD is not a prohibited substance. We hope they understand the action they took was misguided and wrong.”
Paul Moore, from UK /USA CBD Limited, the company behind thcfreeweed.com, said: “Nobody involved in today’s events sells, posseses, trades in or advocates the sale of cannabis.
“We have only, ever and will sell EU verified, EIHA (European industrial hemp agency) products that are freely available in all EU member states for any purpose. All of our products contain below the minimum THC content to be defined as hemp under UK law.”
Police send buds for testing
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “Following reports that items which may contain levels of a controlled substance are being sold from a shop in Plymouth, Police executed a warrant at an address on Phelps Road, Plymouth today (10/9).”
“A number of items have been seized which will now be sent for testing.
“No arrests have been made at this time in relation to his matter and police enquiries continue.”
Paul Moore retorted: “Our products contain CBD and trace amounts of THC which fall in line with the UK legal guidelines for pharmaceutical definitions and UK legal definitions of CBD products. Our products do not fall under the remit of the 1971 MDA (Misuse of Drugs Act).
“Our products are defined as industrial hemp and are clearly imported as such. All derivatives from such products are done so cleanly and safely using the highest grade laboratories in the EU at ISO 1 standard and above.
“All of our products come with UKAS certified laboratory tests, are free for mould, mildew and any other contaminants.
“They are grown to GMP standards, organic with no pesticides and extracted using the most sophisticated mechanisms in the western world to allow for a clean and safe supplement to be extracted from the raw material.”
We believe this to be the first police raid on a company for selling CBD-rich cannabis flower, something which has become more common from vape shops and online shops over the last six months or so.
Are CBD Buds Legal?
Numerous shops have forged headfirst into the market despite murky laws that do not explicitly (or at least clearly) cover the selling of legally-grown hemp flowers with high levels of CBD.
- You can read our stance on the confusing legal status of hemp flowers here – basically we understand that hemp flowers can be considered legal if they contain low amounts of THC(we thought it was 0.2% but thecfreeweed.com claim it’s 1%), are of varieties of hemp from the EU-approved strains list, and are “processed”.
CBD-rich cannabis flower, or CBD hemp buds, contain low levels of THC, which is the chemical in cannabis that gets you high.
CBD, meanwhile, has no psychotropic effects – in fact, it was even shown to be a potent antipsychotic by a recent study as well as offering a slew of other health benefits.
Lee Whittaker, the other owner of Vaping is Personal, insisted to reporters that all their products were completely legal and that they had all relevant documentation and lad reports. which they offered to show the officers.
He told the Herald: “They started seizing every CBD product that we currently sell.
“When asked if they were asked if they were going to do any other vape shops, or Holland and Barrett, who also sell these products, they refused to comment and said we were the first one to get searched.
“CBD is a completely legal product, it’s sold by many shops, many health food shops, it’s a food supplement product.
“The fact that the police don’t know what the product is, it’s a prime example of that. They don’t know what the product is so they need to send it away for testing, their information is wrong.
“The police officer said when he was here that I clearly know more than he does about it, yet he’s felt the need to get a warrant to search my premises and seize my products, not knowing what he is seizing.”
Vaping is Personal also sell CBD products including flowers online at CBDlabsuk.com.
1% THC limit
Mr Moore of THCfreeweed went on to say: “We have never in the past year had any confusion over the legality of these products. The law is very clear. CBD is legal, in any format. Isolated format, flowers, CBD oil, CBD tea, CBD Coffee, CBD e-liquids.
“The tolerances of THC allowed in products is up to and not over 1% THC to be considered legal. This is considered trace amounts and will not cause any psychoactive effects.
“Never once in the past year of importing this product have we seen such disregard for the legislation and such activities take place against one of our retailers.
“This is completely unheard of.”
Vaping is Personal reopened later in the day and have said that they are “challenging the legality of the search and breaches of PACE 84 as the warrant wasn’t endorsed and signed by the police officer and a list of property seized was point blank refused.
“Also a freedom of information request has gone into Plymouth court to ascertain what information was given to obtain the warrant.”
You can still buy CBD flowers from THCfreeweed.com and