THE UK’s first cannabis restaurant has closed, less than a year after it opened.

The Canna Kitchen, in Duke Street, Brighton, served dishes infused with CBD cannabis oil.

The owners claimed they were given assurances by police and Trading Standards officers that the products were legal.

The restaurant has been closed since a police raid at the beginning of the month.

Owner Sam Evolution said he could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds as the kitchen shuts.

Speaking for the first time since the raid, Mr Evolution said he had made an effort to inform police about what was being sold.

He told The Guardian newspaper: “On July 1 2018 we contacted the Met Police via email in an attempt to verify the official UK legal position on the sale of CBD hemp flower.

“Their response was ‘as long as you have made reasonable inquiries and it has been said that they are legal, then there is no criminal offence’.

“We made this inquiry to ensure that we were always operating well within the law.

“We also made a separate inquiry to Trading Standards, who told us that as far as they could tell, there are no current legal issues posted by the sale of hemp-derived CBD products.

“It is clear CBD is not a controlled substance. It is freely available from many large high-street chains.”

He also said that in March a Sussex Police officer visited Canna Kitchen and said “he did not want to interrupt our business”.

Mr Evolution said officers were given samples of the products, including food, to take away for testing.

A statement from Sussex Police said: “Evidential search warrants were executed at shops in London Road and Duke Street, and a home address in North Place, in connection with an investigation into money laundering and the supply of class B drugs.

“At the shop in Duke Street a significant quantity of herbal cannabis was seized.

“Officers had previously visited both shops in March and overtly seized samples of stock to be sent for examination and a laboratory report produced.

“Warrants were obtained and executed in May.

“The investigation is ongoing at this stage.”

Mr Evolution said the inquiry into money laundering had nothing to do with his business and was connected to a raid on other premises in Brighton.

On the seizure of herbal cannabis, he said: “It was industrial hemp that was seized from our Duke Street premises, which is imported legally with all taxes and duties paid.

“We have no connection to any other shop or residence raided in the police operation.”

Mr Evolution, who has a wife and seven-month-old baby, said he could lose up to a quarter of a million pounds.

The restaurant opened in December. At the time Mr Evolution said the restaurant wanted to “change the way people view cannabis”.


He added that he hopes the restaurant will reopen incentives the ongoing police investigation has closed.