There has been an outpouring of support from across Ireland for a Galway-owned CBD dispensary which had its store in Kilkenny raided by gardaí.
Little Collins CBD Dispensary, which has stores in Galway and Kilkenny, was searched by Gardaí last week and a number of items were taken from the premises.
This latest raid comes less than a year after Customs seized items including two litres of full spectrum CBD Oil and 10kg of hemp flower, sparking widespread anger across the local community.
Two years ago, in May 2019, the Galway store was raided by plain-clothes officers who took all of the hemp flowers in the premises, before entering and searching the home of the owners.
Speaking to Galway Daily, JP O’Brien, who owns the business with his wife Ide Clancy, explained that Gardaí visited Little Collins CBD Dispensary in Kilkenny on Wednesday last week.
“They called Dublin, and they were told that what we have is cannabis – even though they are 100% aware of the High Court proceedings, as they’re all involved,” he said.
“They were told to raid us, which they did on Thursday last week.”
JP O’Brien’s High Court challenge argues that his prosecution on charges arising from selling certain hemp products is not valid under EU law and the Constitution.
He says that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 cannot be applied to CBD where the level of THC is 0.2 per cent or lower.
But after the latest raid, JP and Ide are at breaking point, and have called on the public to rally behind them and to demand that the Minister for Health and the Minister for Justice address this issue immediately.
“My wife was healthy and happily 12-weeks pregnant before they raided us,” JP said. “She had a miscarriage at the weekend.”
He says Gardaí also threatened another raid this week and the closure of his store in Kilkenny.
“I closed the store yesterday and today, at least. I’m obviously not putting my staff in front of this any longer,” added JP.
“As soon as Ide is well enough, I’ll be going down to reopen myself.”
As well as countless calls for reform, thousands of people have shown their support for the local business across social media.
Limerick artist Blindboy described the events as “deeply wrong” and a petition has been set up by a member of the public to call on the Ministers to address the issue.