Published: 09:45, 11 June 2019
| Updated: 10:34, 12 June 2019
The owners of a popular town centre sweet shop are set to relocate and start selling confectionery infused with a substance extracted from marijuana.
Sweet Sol in Herne Bay High Street will close later this month ahead of an expected move to the Joseph Wilson Estate in Whitstable next March.
Owners Kris Searle and Chris Welsh say they will start to sell a range of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) at the new store, which will be called the Sweet Centre.
Scroll down to have your say in our poll and hear from one of the owners of the shop.
“We’ve got a wholesaler for CBD vapes, flower that you can smoke and we’ve made gummies with it,” said Kris.
“We’ve seen CBD reduces the number of seizures people get, clears up psoriasis, fights cancer cells and it’s used to help calm down children with autism and attention deficit disorder.
“Eventually, all of our sweets in the centre will be healthy, vegan or healing. The CBD sweets will be available for children, who will have to be accompanied by an adult, and adults in different percentages.”
The sweets will be supplied by Mr Searle and Mr Welsh’s new business, called CBD Doctor Club. The pair also hopes to sell the confectionery to other shops in the area.
Kris and Chris spoke to KMTV last year after winning at the Kent Business Awards
Although it does not make users high, some people experiencing physical and mental illness have claimed CBD has helped to ease their symptoms.
But some are wary of the substance. Alex Stevens, a professor in criminal justice at the University of Kent, says there is not yet enough evidence to suggest it can aid seizures, psoriasis or fight cancer.
“These are all possible effects, which have been claimed, but we’re nowhere near having an authoritative set of evidence to prove that,” he said.
“I would consider it irresponsible to be making those claims in the absence of strong evidence.”
Over the past six months, CBD Star, a store dedicated to cannabis-related products, opened in Whitstable High Street and Captain Jack’s in Central Parade, Herne Bay, started selling cocktails infused with the substance.
But Mr Stevens stresses it is unclear whether CBD is banned under the Psychoactive Substances Act.
“It is still a grey area whether it’s legal,” he said.
“The actual Home Office guidance makes it clear that CBD is not banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but it doesn’t say whether it’s banned under the Psychoactive Substances Act.
“As far as I’m aware, there haven’t been any arrests for selling it. It’s up to those selling CBD products if they want to take the risk.
“It may turn out the interpretation of the act is that CBD is not banned.”
Mr Searle says the Sweet Centre will be spread over two floors and house a Sweet Sol shop, cafe and sensory room.
He is working with Herne Bay children’s charity Snaap to provide activities and workshops for children with special needs.
“Our inspiration for the centre is directly from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Mr Searle added.
“It’ll be a massive, magical space.”