Cannabis café is going to open in Manchester, but it won't get you high

Oct 29, 2015 at 1:53 p.m. ET

An active cannabis campaigner in Manchester has joined forces with a Dutch businessman to set up a city centre café, which will sell hemp oil for its health benefits.

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Colin Davies, 57, from Romiley told the Manchester Evening News that it's all perfectly legal and above board because the hemp oil doesn't contain the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) extract of the cannabis plant. That's the psychoactive bit that gets users high when consumed in large doses.

The oil containing CBD (cannabidiol) is said to help people with medical conditions like epilepsy, cancer and Crohn's disease.

Cannabis oil was made legal in the U.K. on July 31 and is already being distributed in this country by a London and Kent-based company, UK CBD. Their product, Charlotte's Web, was named after Charlotte Figi, who experienced a huge reduction in her epileptic seizures once she started taking medical marijuana at the age of 5.

"The oil is extracted from an industrial plant in Germany," said Davies, who is currently selling the product online but plans to open a shop in Manchester. "We have people filling it into bottles, branding it and we are bringing it over. We've already sold quite a bit in England."

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"You're not going to get high on it. It's medicinal," he added.

Davies is a passionate supporter of legalising cannabis. He once claimed to have given the Queen a bunch of flowers containing cannabis and opened Dutch Experience, the U.K.'s first ever cannabis café, in Stockport in 2001. The café was raided by police within minutes of it's high-profile launch.

Davies was jailed for three years in 2002 after being found guilty of importing and supplying drugs.

He had plans to open a "cannabis social club" in Manchester's Northern Quarter but gave up on that last year after meeting with police.

The issue of making cannabis legal was last debated in Parliament on Oct. 12, following a petition to "make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal." Despite the large number of signatures (the figure now stands at over 227,000), the government said, "substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health" and declared that "there are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities."

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