A ‘cannabis shop’ is coming to Garstang high street ... but it’s not quite what you might think!
Garstang Natural Health Centre’s decision to start selling cannabis oil is legal and above board but is certain to raise a few eyebrows.
The man behind the scheme is CBD One owner Nick Tofalos, a Lancashire-based osteopath who has practiced in the region for 12 years.
The store will be selling their cannabidiol products over the counter from the town centre store, which based, some might say appropriately enough, on High Street.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of 113 active compounds within the cannabis plant, legal in the UK, Europe, and USA.
Nick, 47, said: “This is a leap of faith but we are doing it properly. The aim is honesty and integrity; to help people and give people the right advice in regards to their health.”
In the first week since the product went on the shelves, Nick had over 40 health enquiries from members of the public in regards to whether the product could help them with any health issues they may have.
Nick, who lives in Earby, said: “I’m a health expert so I can legally give advice on if the product will help people or not.”
CBD One is importing the product, which is legal, from the Netherlands and also signed up to the Cannabis Trade Association (CTA) - the industry’s regulatory body.
Nick said: “We thought it was appropriate to join so that people can see that the product is safe.”
The businesses journey is partly rooted in Nick's family history.
Former drama teacher Nick has a rich background in regards to natural and alternative health products as a result of his job as an osteopath but also because of his brother, Constantine ‘Deno’ Tofalos, a photographer, who the Tofalos family lost to multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2012, aged 47.
Nick said: “We heard CBD could help people with MS. I tried a sample and I could feel the positive effects straight away.”
And whilst the positive medical effects of CBD are not entirely known, customers have already praised CBD One’s unconventional products.
Wendy, from Barnoldswick, said: “I had been taking citalopram for anxiety for two years but have been able to stop using it since I began taking Signature Blend No 1. I feel fine and my anxiety has finally gone.”
Researchers have found that CBD could be helpful for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders.
Senior author of the British Journal of Pharmacology, Dr Carl Stevenson, said: “Cannabis is best known for the ‘high’ caused by the chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, but it contains many other chemicals with potential medicinal properties, including cannabidiol.
“This chemical isn’t linked to the cannabis ‘high’ and is safe for people to use, so it might be helpful for alleviating certain symptoms of these disorders without having unwanted side effects of cannabis.”
Nick has owned Garstang’s Natural Health Centre, where the goods will be sold, for five years.