Legal cannabis shop to open in Preston city centre
It is not your usual chemist shop - for a start it dispenses only one drug.
But Cannabliss is set to open its first pharmacy in Preston city centre next month, serving medical cannabis on prescription.
For director Mike Dobson the launch will be a triumphant moment after a four-year campaign to have restrictions on the drug relaxed.
The former welder from Bamber Bridge admits he started using cannabis as a 14-year-old and has since served two prison terms for growing it at home.
But now his company has been licensed to dispense it for medicinal use, one of only five currently in the UK.
“I’ve been on a long journey with this,” said Mike, at work preparing the shop in Cannon Street for its official opening on April 12.
“It will be a big day. It’s estimated there are 1.4 million people who, like me, use cannabis for medical reasons who could now qualify to get it on prescription.
"So it’s going to take a lot of people away from the illicit side of the market.”
Cannabis will not be stored on the premises - it will only be dispensed online to people with a private prescription.
But the shop will sell a legal range of CBD - the non-psychoactive part of cannabis - and other hemp-related products like oils and edibles over the counter.
To get a private prescription for cannabis customers must go through a rigorous consultation at a private clinic.
“We can advise people in the pharmacy about the procedure,” said Mike. “We’re not allowed to keep it here, it has to be by prescription only. But we’re here to point them in the right direction.”