Blindboy and Vera Twomey row in behind CBD store owner after Gardaí seize €20,000 of product 

Blindboy and Vera Twomey row in behind CBD store owner after Gardaí seize €20,000 of product 

JP and Ide O’Brien, outside Little Collins Dispensary in Kilkenny. Photo: Dave McClelland

Podcaster and comedian Blindboy Boatclub and medicinal cannabis campaigner Vera Twomey have rowed in behind a beleaguered CBD store owner after Gardaí seized over €20,000 of his stock. 

The goods were seized despite gardaí confirming that it is “envisaged” that legislation will be amended in the future, so these types of CBD-based products, under certain conditions, will not fall foul of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

JP O’Brien, alongside his wife, co-owns the Little Collins Dispensary in Kilkenny and runs another store in Galway. They sell a range of CBD products, ranging from raw hemp, CBD ointments, teas, and various other supplements.

He says the product seized is Cannabidiol (CBD) and contains less than 0.2% THC content (the psychoactive component).

CBD is not a psychoactive substance and is legal throughout most European countries. Plants containing CBD can be grown as long as the THC content is under 0.3%.

It is used by many as herbal medicine, with users claiming it helps with anxiety, inflammation, pain and more.

Little Collins CBD Dispensary in Kilkenny. Photo: Dave McClelland
Little Collins CBD Dispensary in Kilkenny. Photo: Dave McClelland

A Garda spokesperson said that “if CBD-containing products or preparations also contain THC, in any quantities, these are considered controlled drugs.” 

“Whilst there is currently no legal exemption under the Misuse of Drugs legislative framework for CBD-based products containing any amount of THC, it is envisaged that national legislation will be amended in the future to exempt CBD-based products containing trace amounts of THC at levels not greater than 0.3% from legal controls under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations,” the spokesperson added.

However, despite this potential amendment, the spokesperson confirmed that on Thursday, February 4, Gardaí carried out a search of a premises near Irishtown in Kilkenny.

“A number of items were seized by Gardaí. These items will now undergo analysis,” the spokesperson confirmed.

According to Mr O'Brien, Gardai and detectives seized oils, butter, teas and other edible products he sells. 

“Every single product line you see on our website but the dog oil,” Mr O’Brien stated.

Mr O’Brien says Gardai informed him that they would return to seize more product and close the store.

Following the raids, Little Collins CBD Dispensary received words of support on Twitter from medical activist Vera Twomey, podcast host Blindboy, and PhD student Alicia Maher, who is an expert in the regulation of medicinal cannabis in Ireland.

In one post, referring to the raids, Blindboy said: “Imagine if alcohol was illegal, so the Guards raid a shop selling Heineken zero. Because it looks like beer. It's this.” 

It comes as Mr O’Brien says he is taking a High Court challenge, against a previous prosecution, in which he was charged with having €120,000 worth of “cannabis” in his possession. This product, Mr O’Brien claims, was also hemp and CBD product and tested below the threshold of 0.3%.

Now Mr O’Brien says he looking for clarity on the laws from the Irish government, as to where vendors such as Collins stand.

“We are in a situation where we are just screaming out for help, for anyone in government to just step in and say ‘there needs to be some common sense here this is just absurd behaviour.’ They keep raiding us. They keep fucking us over, and nothing happens,” he said.

Clarification on the laws is what's needed, said Mr O’Brien, who says that the continued raids on his business are” immoral” and “unethical.” When questioned when the envisioned amendments will come into place, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice referred the issue to the Department of Health.

The Department of Health did not respond to queries from the Irish Examiner regarding the envisioned amendments.

However, in a previous statement surrounding the current legislation, the department said:

“THC is the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Under the Misuse of Drugs legislation, products containing THC are strictly controlled and possession is unlawful except under licence. Under the Misuse of Drugs legislation, there is currently no permitted level of THC,” they said.

“CBD is also derived from cannabis; however, as it is not psychoactive, it is not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation. The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is the competent authority for authorising medicinal products in Ireland. Its role is to ensure that only products that are safe, effective and of an appropriate quality based on clinical and scientific data can be authorised and supplied as medicines in Ireland,” they added.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

logo podcast

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

IE logo

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

LOTTO RESULTS

Saturday, October 1, 2022

  • 12
  • 22
  • 28
  • 29
  • 36
  • 44
  • 43

Full Lotto draw results »

Execution Time: 0.223 s