Dan Collins, 31, set up the Hemp Community Interest Company, trading as Hemp – a non-profit business selling Hemp products and cannabidiol (CBD) food supplements for people to incorporate into their everyday diet.
CBD products do not produce a high, as they have less than 0.2 per cent of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so are legal for sale in the UK.
And while such a shop may raise a few eyebrows, Mr Collins insists his products are entirely different to the illegal drug. He does, however, admit that he has no medical expertise.
He said: “I want to put a new face on cannabis. This isn’t a dark, mysterious shop that burns incense, plays reggae music or sells drug paraphernalia. This is a bright space in the community that people can visit, ask questions, have a taste and find something that is suits your palette.
“I think CBD can have a positive impact on just about everybody.
“People should have the chance to try it. In a world when we’re seeing people living stressful lives, using too much alcohol, smoking or unhealthy diets, when you put your system out of balance it leads to problems. This is very much part of my mission to save the world, just one drop at a time.”
Dan has set up a shop in Great Junction Street in Leith to spread the word on what he says are the positive effects cannabis can have on the community and rid the common negative stereotype surrounding it, selling a wide range of products including CBD oil, paste, tea and capsules.
He said that he first began using cannabis products to help him get through the most difficult time of his life. When his father’s condition began to deteriorate more than two years ago due to his multiple sclerosis, Dan was suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, struggling to sleep and turned to alcohol in an emotional period of his life.
After quitting the drink and turning to legal cannabis products, he says his life completely changed.
“We’ve been using cannabis as an agricultural resource for thousands of years,” he said. “We have enough science and public backing to have the conversation about cannabis and be adults about it.
“I have faith this business will work and raising the profile at how beneficial hemp and CBD oil can be.”
Hemp is also a member of the Cannabis Trades Association UK – an organisation promoting legal and ethical trade in the Hemp and CBD market.
Chairman Mike Harlington said: “These stores are perfectly legitimate and legal.
“I would urge anyone in the UK to purchase products from a CTA member because that is the only way you can guarantee it is legal and that the product and supplier has been vetted.
“Unfortunately there are other producers out there who will be unsafe and will rip buyers off.”