“We’d Never Even Heard of Worthing”

Local Worthing artist Wayne Longhurst makes lino prints, often inspired by local nature. This image is of a tree.
Wayne Longhurst as Longhurst Lino
Wayne Longhurst’s work is mostly inspired the the sea and the Downs. “I always love that moment when I peel back the paper from a new print, to see how it has come together”. Find Wayne on FBInstaEtsy

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We were in Coventry, we came down to see the shop, the flat, and said yes, let’s do it. We can walk out of our front door and be on the beach in ten minutes – never had that before. It’s amazing.

I’m in Green Machine CBD Dispensary down on South Farm Road, near Worthing station. To be clear, this is not a head shop, and they don’t want to be confused with a traditional drug paraphernalia shop, as Nicole puts it. They’re seeing themselves very much as a dispensary which offers a higher quality product and a more informed alternative to chain store marketing or online selling.

Here, things necessarily get a bit technical. Skip this bit if you already know it (or feel you don’t need to know it). Spend a moment with Ace, the dispensary dog, instead.

There’s a genus of plant – yup, you can call it cannabis – and some varieties of it contain larger amounts of THC than other varieties. THC gets you high / stoned. All plants in the genus also contain CBD – a substance which will not get you stoned, but which has been the subject of loads of tests and studies into the medical benefits claimed for it. It works by binding with cannabinoid receptors in the body.

hemp leaves

Right now, the CBD oils, chocolates and so on that we can buy get classed as a ‘novel food‘ (yeah, who knew there was such a classification, right?). Given the therapeutic claims for CBD, and given the need for labels to disintguish full spectrum (which the dispensary sells) and isolate products (which many chains and onlines sell), there’s a need for better public information.

We’ll never see the end of nicotine, it’s so addictive and it’s such a money-maker for the government. And we’ll never see the end of alcohol, it’s so heavily promoted. It’s killing people in the Uk – but it’s promoted. It’s true that the state stance towards CBD is anomalous and needs sorting out.

Many people are expecting to see CBD re-classified soon – maybe under the traditional herbal medicine (THMRS) grouping. For sure, the situation is absolutely unclear – even to police and state – and is shifting fast.

I’d like to see people do their own research, find out about it. Morrisons have got hemp milk – it’s full of Omegas. Hemp’s great: it’s a strong material, fast-growing, and it absorbs more CO2 than trees!

Who are the Worthing dispensary clients?

Varied. A lot come for medical reasons, like pain relief, anti-inflammation or mental health.

Some clients are cannabis smokers who are fed up of sitting on the sofa stoned and with the munchies and who just want to relax down a bit without being high.

Then, there’s a lot of elderly folk with arthritis. Some people come looking for us for mental health reasons, like people with anxiety or depression who are looking for help but without the dangers of stuff like Sertraline. People with MS use it too.

There’s people who want to vape full-spectrum CBD. Then people who’ve tried Holland & Barrett but want something better quality. A lot of people just come in asking for information – they’ve read about it and want to understand more.

Why am I having so much trouble finding a website or FB link for you? You can do social media, marketing, all that, but word of mouth is much more legitimate. If your neighbour comes in here and tells you they liked it – that’s the best. That’s what we like. People’s testimonials speak for themselves.

Life here is a bit slower, and it’s a very open place, friendly. A lot of people have come into Worthing from Brighton and London because they want to escape that fast pace. They don’t want to be swallowed up. People realise – you can stop commuting; you can run a good business here; you can live here for less money. People are so alone in London: here you can meet people, stop and chat on the street, there’s community.

I guess Worthing is definitely not the new Brighton for you, then – more like an escape route from Brighton? It doesn’t want to be Brighton, but we’ll have to watch, maybe it’s becoming a bit like it.

And your thoughts on the wheel of contention? Well, will it actually bring visitors? Maybe they could look a bit at things that people actually do say that they want? Maybe festivals? No point doing stuff people don’t use.

A mini Hemp & CBD festival in Worthing by 2021, folks?

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