On Dec 1st 2019 he UK’s first cannabis restaurant The Canna Kitchen opened its doors on Duke Street, Brighton. Its mission was to ‘change the way people view cannabis’.
The restaurant specialised in vegetarian and vegan food with most dishes infused with the cannabis compound CBD.
For the first few months Canna Kitchen built up a following of happy customers and began to receive positive reviews on websites like Google.
The restaurant claimed to be using more than just the oil, adding the herb itself – on the basis that a variety of different flavours are possible, depending on which bud is being used.
All seemed fine, until early May 2019 when there was a police raid. It was reported that the restaurants staff were detained for several hours.
One person was taken into custody for questioning, and the director Sam Evolution voluntarily went to the police station. Since that day The Canna Kitchen has been closed.
Why did this happen?
The restaurant personally made enquiries to relevant authorities according to Sam Evolution, Canna Kitchen’s director.
He claimed to have evidence that the police and Trading Standards had given the go-ahead to open a restaurant that sold food infused with CBD oil in July 2018.
“On 1 July 2018 we contacted the Met police via email in an attempt to verify the official UK legal position on the sale of CBD hemp flower.”Sam Evolution, Director – Canna Kitchen
He told The Guardian that he’d been advised:
‘As long as you have made reasonable enquiries and it has been said that they are legal, then there is no criminal offence.’
One can only imagine the upset The Canna Kitchen had had to go through watching a new business being closed down.
From the information gathered it seems to be routed around the issue of using CBD bud and flower. There seems to be an assumption amongst many in the CBD industry that any product containing less 0.2% of THC–Tetrahydrocannabinol (the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects) is legal.
However in recent months since The Canna Kitchen incident, trade groups like The Cannabis Trade Association (CTA) have tried to raise awareness among UK retailers that CBD in bud and flower form is still classed as cannabis in the UK and is therefore not legal.
At the time of writing the outcome of The Canna Kitchen case is still not clear.