There has been an outpouring of support for Little Collins CBD Dispensary in Galway City after its products were seized by Customs – one year after the business was raided.
The owners of the local business say that in the past three weeks, Customs have taken two litres of full spectrum CBD Oil and 10kg of hemp flower.
They claim that the government is infringing on their civil liberties and their right to run a legitimate business in the county.
“One year ago they did the same, back then it was seizures plus raids,” said JP O’Brien, co-owner of Little Collins.
“That matter remains in limbo of course, there have been zero updates from the authorities, even though our company and our solicitor have been pushing for a resolution.”
The business says that once the products are seized, they have no recourse to communicate with Customs on the matter.
“There is literally no number, email or office we can contact,” he said.
People across Galway took to social media today and yesterday to show their support for the business – and anger at the situation – with similar levels of solidarity expressed as when products were seized last year.
In May 2019, the store was raided by plain-clothes officers, who seized all of the hemp flowers in the premises, before entering and searching the home of the owners.
In response to the events, Revenue said: “If a product contains any amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), regardless of the concentration and unless otherwise authorised, it is illegal to import, export, possess or supply it without the appropriate documentation issued by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) on behalf of the Department of Health.
“Cannabis is a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, 1977 to 2015. As such, goods which are being imported into Ireland and that contain THC, are liable to seizure under Sec 34(1) of the Customs Act 2015.
“Under Section 851A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 Revenue is legally precluded from commenting on interactions with, or the tax affairs of, any individual, or business. These provisions apply regardless of the information available in the public domain.”
But JP O’Brien says that the business is merely ‘attempting to supply the Irish people with a harmless, natural, herbal product which is actually very beneficial’.
“Legislation is clearly inadequate to handle this new and booming industry, it’s almost like my Grandad trying to teach me how to use a smart phone.
“Numerous hemp trade bodies have been attempting for years to communicate with the Government to constructively move forward in this area. To date, they have routinely been ignored.
“The next three to six months are extremely important for the future of a cannabis industry in the Republic of Ireland. We implore you to be heard,” he added.