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Ian Thomas’s CBD store “Gano” sealed by the Antwerp Police

Antwerp Police

CBD or cannabidiol is derived from the hemp plant. Hemp plant and marijuana are extracted from the Cannabis Sativa family but the characteristics of marijuana and CBD are different. On the one hand, we have CBD which has less than 0.3% of THC level and on the other hand, Marijuana has excessive THC levels which alter the mind. 

When a substance with a very high THC level is ingested at a regular scale it results in the person getting addicted to it. When a person gets addicted to the substance they cannot survive without it.  CBD produces no such results which are why its acceptability is increasing. 

But, recently in Antwerp, Police had shut down a store called “Gano” owned singer Ian Thomas for selling CBD oil. The irony was that it was shut the same day it was inaugurated. The singer’s pop-up shop had gained immense publicity mainly because he is a celebrity singer and also because he was selling CBD without fear. CBD is legally obtainable only in Pharmacy stores and his open selling of it raked quite a popularity. 

So when the shop opened, a few policemen visited the store and examined the products on sale. 10 police officers sifted through all the products and their labels. After a thorough examination, they decided that they will have to seal the store. He was informed that he will not be able to store now and sealed the new store. A police seal cannot be tampered with unless there is an order. 

The police have now opened an investigation and the charges that they are talking about are the non-conformity to food and safety laws as well as the lack of permits to open a store. Although CBD has been receiving wider reception now still people are not completely aware of what CBD does. They still compare it with Marijuana. 

Many people who are taking CBD infused drugs for their conditions have experienced marked improvement in their condition. Severe Epilepsy cases have been treated by CBD. The frequent seizures not just reduced but also disappeared with the medicine. CBD also has helped people with extreme pains in the knees and joints. It is also taken by patients suffering from life-taking diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and people have surely felt the difference.

CBD is only the genetic brother of Marijuana. It does not because a high when taken, rather it makes the taker feel good. Ian was also asked for his reaction and he mentioned that he strongly supported CBD for obvious reasons. People around the world have been using it and feel the difference. That was primarily the reason why he was introducing these products to people. But Belgium still needs to be made aware that CBD is not Marijuana. They consider CBD as a drug and due to this perspective, the police came and shut his shop. 

Ian’s business partner Ina Averhals irate with the police intervention said that they had permits for one week and the concept of pop up stores did not require any registration number. The other charge for not conforming to the food and safety bill is a serious concern. The products that were been sold were marketed as food supplements. This is done so in the Netherlands and other countries. Even in the US it is still not allowed to promote the product as a food supplement. Belgium requires such products to receive a certificate of approval from FAVV/Afsca. 

The partners are arguing that they are into essential oils only which was not consumed. The intention of the pop-up store was not such but they were not given the chance to clarify. They wanted people to become aware of CBD oil rather than stereotyping it. 

Through the store, they saw an opportunity to educate people about it. But with this, her only plea to the government is to have clear regulations for CBD. The government of Belgium is not taking a clear stance surrounding the product. 

If the government also follows the footsteps of other countries In Europe where CBD is now legalised and regulated, then the picture will fit in the minds of people. The traditional school of thought now has to replace. If the belief has to be changed then people have to be given full information with details. Only if that happens will people be able to see the benefits in clear light.

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Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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