A cannabis club has opened its doors in the UK after receiving support from the police, the British daily Metro reported on Wednesday.
“Club Exhale,” charges its members £35 or about $61 (CDN), which gives them a free yet controlled space to smoke cannabis while playing pool and other games. Selling or buying marijuana at the Middlesbrough-based club is strictly prohibited.
Middlesbrough is located in Teeside, a district in northern England.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, who backs the legalization of medicinal marijuana, visited the club on Saturday.
“I visited Teeside Cannabis Club because I wanted to see how it was run. The members bring their own cannabis, it isn’t grown on the premises and they’re not dealing or supplying,” he said.
Founder Wants Model to Spread
Michael Fisher, the man behind the club, wants his model to spread across the UK. He told Metro that “the tide is turning” after the Jones’ visit.
“We have a great relationship with our local police force, although they are not as outspoken as some about cannabis use, they’ve been very supportive.”
So far, his business is doing good.
At times Exhale can make up to £3000 or $5,243 (CDN) a night and has had British celebrity visitors such as Jeremy Kyle, an English television and radio presenter, and Professor Green, a British rapper and, songwriter.
The club currently has around 180 members, said the 33-year-old Fisher, who described cannabis as the “world’s most valuable resource.”
Conversation About Cannabis is Changing
The trend to legalize cannabis is taking off worldwide, especially after Canada is stepping closer to becoming the world’s first developed nation to legalize marijuana. Fisher says the British government is missing out on a multi-billion pound industry.
Fisher is also seeing some change in sentiments.
“The conversation around cannabis is changing and it is becoming more acceptable to talk about. We don’t feel the need to hide in the shadows about it.”
He also said there have been no criminal problems linked to the club.
“What we’ve had here is a lot of success, in 14 months, where we’ve gone from about 60 to 70 members to around 180 people,” he said.