Britain’s first Cannabis Coffee shop opens
Britains first Amsterdam style coffee shop opened on the 15th September 2001 in Oldham, Manchester.
News of the event broke on the UKCIA mailing list, the activist list that passes information:
“Just heard from cc-news that the opening of the planned Dutch-style coffeeshop in Stockport has been stopped by police. Colin Davies and three Dutch citizens have been arrested and are presently banged up by the police. Meanwhile there is a crowd of about 100 outside smoking pipes, joints and bongs. This, of course, comes as little surprise to anyone! Good luck to them all”
Sat, 15 Sep 2001
Subject: [UKCIA] UK: UK cannabis cafe manager is arrested
The manager of Britain’s first Amsterdam-style cafe which aims to sell cannabis has reportedly been arrested shortly after the business opened.
A scuffle broke out at the entrance of the cafe when a plain clothed detective revealed to cafe owner Colin Davies that he was inside. Police had warned Mr Davies that The Dutch Experience, based in the centre of Stockport, Greater Manchester, would be shut down if it was found to be breaking the law.
Mr Davies came out of his business just after opening demanding that the police officer showed him a warrant. A uniformed officer outside the shop was involved in an altercation with Mr Davies, who was trapped in the door. Mr Davies came out to greet a woman in a wheelchair and pushed her back into the shop saying: “She is a sick woman and needs cannabis to relieve her pain.” The scuffle continued and Mr Davies was seen inside the cafe slumped on the floor.
At 10.15am he was led away by two female plain clothed detectives amid shouts from his supporters. As Mr Davies was put into the back of a police van, one of his supporters shouted: “He’s a healer not a dealer.” A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: “A man has been arrested for the possession of cannabis with intent to supply. A search of the premises will now be conducted.”
Police officers arrived in greater numbers at about 10.30am and entered the cafe where they carried out a search of every person there. Several people were arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis and as they were led away a crowd of supporters outside cheered. Supporters of Mr Davies began smoking cannabis outside the cafe as the police watched. The wheelchair users lit pipes filled with the drug as police officers stood just two yards away.