Cannabis shop offers hemp – and help
The owner of a not-for-profit Edinburgh hemp shop hopes to encourage more Scots to experience the benefits of cannabis-based products.
Dan Collins, 32, founded Hemp Community Interest Company (trading as Hemp) in 2017 as a social enterprise providing cannabidiol, or CBD, and opened the shop on Great Junction Street just over a year ago.
“Our mission is to try to educate people about the benefits of the hemp plant and to let them know that CBD products can be very beneficial for your health,” he explains. “There is no magic to this – it’s just science.”
Dan’s father, who sadly passed away last year, had lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) for many years. The MS Society has lobbied the UK Government to legalise cannabis for medicinal use to treat pain and muscle spasms in MS, and Dan explains that growing up with an awareness of the chronic condition was a large part of the inspiration for opening his business.
“It’s a really big part of why I do what I do,” he states. “My aim with the business is to help people. If I can help someone going through what my dad experienced, or at least offer them the choice of using CBD, I’ll be achieving my goal.”
Dan opened the shop to create a safe environment for anyone interested in finding out more about the properties of the hemp plant. A user of CBD products himself, and known by his customers for being extremely knowledgeable on the subject, he says: “You wouldn’t buy a car from someone who doesn’t drive – we only sell CBD products that have been lab tested, and on top of that, I check all the products myself.”
He’s keen to emphasise this isn’t a “miracle cure” and adds: “At Hemp, our focus isn’t on selling products, it’s about introducing people to the process of taking CBD; you can make it part of your routine, like taking vitamins.”
As a social entrepreneur, Dan has pledged to reinvest profits into good causes in the future, which is why Hemp is a community interest company.
“We aren’t doing this for money, it isn’t about profit. The vast majority of CBD users are chronically unwell or experiencing ill health, so it is only appropriate that any profits are used to benefit them, including donations to charity,” says Dan, who hopes to one day launch an open-access hemp farm.
Hemp stocks CBD in different forms from pastes and capsules to skin creams, vape liquids and drinks.
“When you use this plant and its products properly, you tend to get really positive results,” he adds. “I really believe we can all use hemp one way or another to enhance our lives.”
For more information, visit hempcanhelp.co.uk