A British diver who took part in an heroic and miraculous Thai cave rescue has opened the world’s first cannabis oil hotel.
And it’s high time.
Last year, Tim Acton was part of a huge rescue effort that captivated the world after a youth football team was stuck underground for 18 days, and now he has decided how he will make his mark with a brand new venture.
Tim has run leading firm Canna CBD with his friend Greg Land for three years and they are one of the biggest companies in the emerging sector. Now they are making the move to branch out into hospitality.
They have opened the Green Coffee Lab and Leafy Hotel in Colchester, Essex, which will sell cannabis infused cakes, coffee, tea, rum, gin and beer. The owners have made the company so on brand that that even the light fittings are even made out of hemp. There is literally CBD oil everywhere.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, with clinical trials suggesting it can have a positive effect on mental health and it can be prescribed on the NHS.
Last year Home Secretary Sajid Javid ruled that medicinal cannabis oil can be prescribed in the UK after epilepsy sufferer Billy Caldwell, 13, had his cannabidiol medicine confiscated at Heathrow.
Legal CBD oil is found in the hotel’s cocktails, food, and even shampoo in the rooms. The hotel offers eight rooms to guests, which will cost between £80 and £125 for a night. Handy if you have aching joints. The owners hope that businessmen, students and health-conscious travellers will book in, and they have already been taking bookings for when Tom Jones plays in the town.
Tim, 39, who also owns a hotel in Thailand, said: ‘As far as the restaurant and the bar are concerned we offer a range of CBD-infused products.
‘Once we are up and running the restaurant will be healthy fast food all infused with CBD.
‘Even the shampoo is hemp-based and our light fixings are made out of hemp too. We don’t want to limit ourselves to anyone, there are lovely rooms at the end of the day and a lot of people come through Colchester for different reasons.
‘We are not a huge hotel, and we don’t want to limit ourselves to any group really. We have been told this is the only CBD hotel in the world and it has been challenging.
‘It is difficult working in this industry in the UK, it is very new. It is fast moving and there are challenges. Even for that pick me up
‘There are some misconceptions but you can drink a gallon of oil and you won’t get high, it is nothing to do with the illegal side of things.’ The dad-of-one added: ‘We have had so much interest from the locals and we are hoping to be an education for people too.’
Greg, 26, said: ‘I think CBD has become more accessible in terms of the stigma that cannabis had. People think cannabis is bad, but it is not bad it is just a plant and it is how people use it.
‘There is an illegal side of it, but there is an illegal side to everything.’ Tim added: ‘Around the time I first started my dad was suffering terribly from arthritis. After a couple of weeks of using the oil he was bouncing around like a teenager.
‘One of the original reasons we came up with the shop idea was to educate people.’
The hotel is a far cry from the dramatic scenes in Thailand last summer. Tim was drafted in by the nation’s Navy Seals to save 12 players and their coach from the Tham Luang cave system. The commercial diver crucially carried oxygen tanks and stretchers as the youngsters were miraculously brought above ground.
During the precarious mission he severely injured his leg and was thanked by the Thai Government.