UK Cannabis Coffeeshop Given Green Light To Open In Liverpool

“As far as I’m concerned, the war’s over.”

These are the words of a Liverpool man who claims he’s been given the green light by authorities to reopen his cannabis coffeeshop, The Chillin’ Rooms. 

Gary Youds, who has illegally operated the Chillin’ Rooms for over 17 years on and off, announced his big news on a recent podcast with CannamanTV

In the recording, Youds claims to have received backing from politicians on both sides of the political spectrum to operate the cannabis club from its location in Kensington, Liverpool.  

Youds also says that The Chillin’ rooms should have official approval within two months and that he has penned an opening for mid-October. Liverpool band The Zutons are rumoured to be playing on the opening night. 

The ‘Scouse model’

Describing his operation as “structured and professional”, Youds says that over the last 20 years he has refined the model and it’s now “ready to roll” after receiving recognition by those in authority.

“It’s not the Dutch model or the Spanish model, it’s the Scouse model…” Gary says in the interview.  

The cannabis sold at the Chillin’ Rooms will all be locally produced, organic, tested and sold in a safe environment. There will even be an app that tracks the cannabis from seed to sale, ensuring high quality standards are maintained and every bit of weed is accounted for.  

The app will also allow customers to book a seat at the venue, check what’s on the menu, and even find out who’s growing the weed. 

“The growers are hopefully going to be as famous as the celebrity chefs,” Gary exclaimed. 

Perfect timing

Gary believes that now is the perfect time for such a grassroots movement as the country faces the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. He sees such projects as a major step in rebuilding and enriching local communities.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he says: “There’s an opportunity right now, because I know there’s thousands of people in the country who need jobs. Lots of these businesses [closed due to coronavirus] won’t be able to open again.

“They won’t be able to find the finance. I just believe now if we can look at the model we can roll it out and we can get everybody back to work, get cannabis off the streets and pay the taxes.”

Mr Youds also states his desire to see another 100,000 cannabis coffeeshops open throughout the country, as well as all cannabis prisoners released from prison. 

Brushes with law

Gary recently avoided going to jail after 202 cannabis plants were found in his wardrobe in March 2019. Supporters cheered as the 50-year-old dad-of-two was spared jail and handed a community order at his sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court in February.

Before that, in January 2017, he was sentenced to nine months in jail after being caught (for the third time) running the illegal business on Holt Road, Kensington, Liverpool. 

Gary first applied to Liverpool Council to convert the former taxi office into a private members’ club for cannabis smokers in 2002.

When his plans were rejected by councillors, the former pub landlord decided to go ahead and set it up anyway. In 2005, he was given a conditional discharge for allowing cannabis to be smoked at the venue.

Proud

Speaking at the time of one of his most recent court appearances, Youds said: “It was the ultimate chilling room. It was free from crime, it was unique and there was nowhere like it, it was like one in a million.

“It was the light at the end of the tunnel and thousands of people came and went there. I’m proud of what I created, I really am. It was a private place, you had to be invited by a friend, we didn’t have any signs-up, we didn’t have any marketing, it was strictly word-of-mouth.

“I wanted to pay tax. I wanted to do everything right. I went to see everybody, the Mayor, I tried with every angle of authority,” said Youds. 

He added: “We had the best underground music night and we had people coming from all over the world there, the local money was generated by the community for the community.

“It was a little pot of creativity, it couldn’t have gone better.

“We didn’t have any crime whatsoever, I never witnessed it in 17 years, not even a cigarette thrown on the floor.

“Every single night there were about 200, 300 people in there and everyone went home safe. We never had one single complaint, in the whole time.”

No change in law

During one of Youds’ hearings, Recorder Louise Brandon told him: “Regardless of what you think of the law, these are criminal offences.”

And while he may have the backing from certain higher ups for the reopening of The Chillin’ Rooms, it doesn’t get around the fact that there has been no amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act and cannabis is still a class B drug. 

On a phone call with Gary, he assures me that although he has not had direct contact with Merseyside Police, representatives of his have and he does not expect any bother from them once reopened.

If he’s correct, the Chillin Rooms and Gary’s ‘Scouse model’ of cannabis coffeeshops could set a precedent for more venues in other towns and cities around the country. Gary could have just kick-started the green avalanche, as he likes to call it.

Let’s hope he’s right.  

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About Jack Woodhouse

A passionate cannabis proponent, Jack has been immersed in cannabis culture for over a decade. He launched High & Polite in 2017 and has since reached millions of people. He is the author of Overcoming Weed Dependence: The Truth About Addiction And The Secret To A Healthy Relationship With Cannabis

View all posts by Jack Woodhouse

22 Comments on “UK Cannabis Coffeeshop Given Green Light To Open In Liverpool”

  1. Gaz is a top bloke and I hope he succeeds in keeping CR open this time!

    It’s long overdue in the UK but it is definitely the future.

    Tim

  2. I have been waiting for 45 years for these ridiculous laws to be overturned, and I am still not sure if I will live to see it, but at leaat things are going in the right direction. Hopefully future generations won’t be criminalised, and preyed on by the real criminals just to use a medicinal God/Nature given flower.

    I never understood why it was ok to use opium and cocaine medicinally, but cannabis was the big NoNo. It made no sense, and it is good to see at least CBD being legal now.

    Best of luck to Gary, I hope I can visit his cafe sometime.

  3. Absolutely brilliant, more people need to follow suit all over England opening up coffee shops, keep going and going until these stupid top knobs realise it’s a natural bloody flower with so many benefits to so many people.
    I myself had thyroid cancer that was missed for over 8 years, once it was found I weighed a mere 5 stone. Cannabis kept me alive, it made me hungry, it made me eat.
    I now have a low grade brain tumour, I think it grew in the 2 years I stopped using, since I’m back on cannabis, it’s not grown 1mm. I don’t take medication except thyroxine, cannabis is all the extra meds I need. May I add, it also helped with the anxiety of cancer and also important, a decent nights sleep!!! Keep growing my fellow bud lovers

  4. absolutely outrageous decision, this will not last long mark my words, the good noble conservative party citizens will not tolerate such an outrage. I suggest you have a sherry, listen to a Rees Mogg speech and be done with this ludicrous outlandish yobery.

    1. Oof you’re an angry individual. Why the hostility? Has weed caused you personal problem worth such rage? I seriously doubt it. Or maybe you just need to try some. Goodness.

      1. Like boomers haven’t been smoking weed for years. You may be young, but that doesn’t mean you should be ignorant.

  5. I suffer with debilitating chronic back pain after breaking my back in multiple places & fibromyalgia. I take medication that gives me just as debilitating side effects. My only chance to get off the meds & be me again is CBD, I’m hoping that this goes ahead & opens which will, wfingers crossed path the way for others to open. Hopefully one need where I live so I can try CBD, get the pain relief I need, get off the pain medication & be me again. Good luck 🤞🤞

  6. What I’d really like to see is medical grade cannabis sold. Cannabis for epilepsy, cancer etc – the scientifically based ratios for illnesses. Pure THC too strong, need balancing CBD.

  7. Great idea… sounds good hopefully the government wake the fuck up… I’ll be supporting this allll the way. Good on you for all your hard fought work I really hope you pull it off.. will definitely be paying a visit on the reg if open 👍🏻

  8. As the plan of legislation was presented on televised looked absolutely depressing with clinic style consultants, prior sales of low grade thc not topping 10% and point system where a maximum of 7g in months was only permitted makes me feel so sad I almost cried.

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