CANNABIS activists have set up a hemp shop in Portsmouth as part of their quest to educate and remove the taboo around cannabis and CBD.
Hampshire Canna activist Sy Dignam opened the shop, which is also called Hampshire Canna, joined by other activists in the group as well as 33-year-old Perry Toovey who works in the shop with him.
The shop, on London Road in Hilsea, sells traditional smoking supplies such as rolling papers, bongs and grinders as well as CBD products such as oils, creams, vaping e-liquids and bath bombs.
It also sells exotic soft drinks such as CBD mojito flavoured energy drinks and dutch chocolate drink Chocomel and Hampshire Canna merchandise such as T-shirts and hats.
There is a seating area within the store in which customers can drink a CBD-infused coffee while reading up on the health benefits of the products.
CBD - also known as cannabidiol - is one of the compounds that is found in cannabis that doesn’t provide a ‘high’ to users, but has been claimed to help symptoms from physical and mental ailments such as muscle pain or anxiety and depression.
Sy, who has been an activist for seven years, hopes that through education and eventually regulation, he can make smoking safer for people.
He is passionate about legalising the substance and said he has ‘always wanted to get it onto the high street’.
The 46-year-old said: ‘It has got to be regulated, some people need it.
‘Nowadays there’s so much in the media about cannabis, it’s not a hidden thing any more. We want to get the stigma away from cannabis. People still think bad stuff about it because that’s what they used to teach them but we want to tell them the good stuff.’
Sy and Perry have 50 years cannabis experience between them.
The activist group, which was set up in 2012, meets regularly on Eastney beach, where they educate others and campaign for the legalisation and regulation of cannabis.
There are now 320 members of Hampshire Canna.
The last meeting attracted around 350 people, the most visitors yet.
CBD is completely legal in the UK, as long as it contains no less than 0.2 per cent THC.