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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 18:57 GMT 19:57 UK
Cannabis cafe owner guilty
Colin Davies
Verdicts were reached after five hours
A man who opened an Amsterdam-style coffee shop in Stockport to sell cannabis as medicine for seriously ill people has been found guilty of drugs offences.

Colin Davies was charged after opening the Dutch Experience cafe last year.

The 44-year-old from Romney Towers, Brinnington, Stockport, had claimed the shop's purpose was to supply cannabis to those who needed the class B drug for medicinal purposes.

But after smoking a joint on the day his shop opened on 15 September last year, he was arrested.

The Dutch Experience cafe
Davies said the cannabis sold was for medicinal use

Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court heard customs officers had seized cannabis worth 18,000 at Dover and 430 ready-made joints destined for addresses linked to Davies.

The prosecution also alleged 3,000 cash found at his flat was the proceeds from the sale of the drug.

Davies claimed the cafe was based on similar ventures - the so-called 'medi-weed' system - which operate in Holland.

His clientele were people who smoked cannabis to ease painful illness such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis, he said.

Charges denied

But the jury found him guilty of three counts of possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply, of supplying a Class B drug and of being involved in the importation of cannabis.

He was also convicted of permitting the premises to be used for the smoking of the drug.

Davies had denied the charges.

A jury of seven men and five women took just over five hours to reach their verdicts.

Davies, who has already served about a year in prison since his arrest, was remanded in custody until Thursday.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Philip Bromwell
"During his trial Davies would stress he is a healer not a dealer"

Click here to go to Manchester
See also:

23 Sep 02 | England
24 Jul 02 | UK
16 Sep 01 | UK
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