Gardaí crack down on shops and cafes selling CBD products – The Irish Times

Garda and Customs have launched a crackdown on shops and cafes selling cannabis derivatives in recent weeks with owners facing the possibility of lengthy prison terms.

There is widespread confusion among sellers and consumers about the legality of Cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike other derivatives of the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive and is mostly legal throughout Europe.

Much of the confusion stems from the various laws and regulations concerning such products in Ireland. Under EU regulations plants containing CBD may be grown as long as their THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) content – the psychoactive component – is less than 0.2 per cent. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) even subsidises production in some countries.

In Ireland cannabis or hemp may be grown as a food product under the same conditions. However under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 all derivatives of cannabis and hemp containing THC are illegal, even if they contain only trace amounts.

The Department of Health says it hopes to amend the legislation to explicitly permit CBD products like those seized in recent weeks.

‘Extremely worried'

In recent weeks drug-squad detectives have raided at least four shops and cafes selling CBD products. In one raid last week gardaí working with customs officials confiscated €10,000 worth of plant products including tea and hemp flowers from the owners of the Little Collins Dispensary in Galway. Owner JP O’Brien told The Irish Times he had ordered two boxes of CBD products a week previously which never arrived. He and his wife assumed the items had been seized by customs as this had happened before.

Last Friday his wife Ide Clancy got a text from someone claiming to be a courier asking her to meet him at her house to take possession of the boxes. Suspecting this was a Garda sting operation, Ms Clancy refused and told them to drop the items in the back.

“An hour or two later eight plain-clothes gardaí raided the shop and seized all tea and hemp products,” Mr O’Brien said. Gardaí also kicked down the door of their house and searched the premises, “underwear drawers, documents, everything”, he said.

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