National Hemp Service: Jeremy Corbyn’s son to open UK’s first ‘all hemp’ shop in Stroud Green Road
- Credit: Archant
Tommy Corbyn and Chloe Kerslake-Smith will open their first of its kind National Hemp Service shop in Stroud Green Road next month.
The entrepreneurial couple will unveil their "all hemp" shop and cafe in September, where every product will be made from the versatile crop, which is a strain of the cannabis sativa species.
For Chloe and Tommy, sustainability and sourcing products from like-minded independent firms is the mission statement - and they plan to educate people about the fast growing crop's bona fide medicinal, economic and eco attributes, while also campaigning for cannabis legalisation.
"We are trying to show everyone all the things hemp can do," said Chloe, 24. "Because it's sustainable, incredible for the earth and climate and should be decriminalised.
"Every product we sell will be made from hemp, whether that's hemp seed oil, CBD [cannabidiol] oil, CBD skin care, clothing made from hemp, lube, gourmet marshmallows. So far we don't know of anyone else doing an all hemp shop."
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Tommy, 26, whose Islington North MP dad Jeremy Corbyn is supportive of the business, told the Gazette: "We want to champion hemp as a material for all different things. We think cannabis has been demonised for a long time and hemp can be a good gateway into finding out more about it - we don't want people to be afraid of the plants.
"Most people don't know about hemp. It's not a normal thing in this country unfortunately, we are going to change that.
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"We want to help push legalisation forward - it's the answer to a lot of our health and sustainability issues.
"Hemp offers a huge amount of solutions to the problems of today, in terms of agriculture, environment, even economically, if we all start growing hemp it would help.
"Especially in the Brexit environment when we are not going to be able to export much to the European Union, hemp is part of the solution." Chloe added that a UK hemp growing drive would help "bring jobs to our fields".
Hemp crop consumes minimal water and absorbs CO2 while it grows. It can be used in construction, as fuel, to make clothes and textiles, for consumption as a super food and in medicine. CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant but is legal and, unlike the plant's psychoactive THC compound, doesn't get you "high".
Studies show CBD is effective in treating severe childhood epilepsy, chronic pain, and inflammation due to arthritis, as well as combating anxiety and insomnia.
The couple have grafted away for months, taking a DIY approach to decking out their shop, which Chloe described as a "labour of love".
But there have been a few scrapes and scratches along the way, such as earlier this month, when Tommy was installing air conditioning and the "drill butt span around and hit him in the head".
Chloe said: "We were in the ambulance the other day and they asked what [the shop] was going to be called and we cracked up because you can't say National Hemp Service to someone who works in the National Health Service. It's a bit tongue in cheek but we do mean it and it should be a service for the community."
Graffiti artist Aroe, whose cult artwork decorates walls across Brighton and beyond, has also agreed to do a political piece in the shop.
Tommy added: "It's coming soon, come check it out. There is only so much I can tell people. I have to show them. It's not a dingy smoking den. It's going to be a whole experience. We want people to come in and really go away having learned about the plant."