Health shop criticised for Pride alcohol licence bid

CBD Ethics in George Street, Kemp Town
CBD Ethics in George Street, Kemp Town

Failure to communicate with police and Pride organisers may have cost the owners of a new cannabidiol health shop the chance to sell alcohol at this year’s festival.

CBD Ethics in George Street, Kemp Town, falls within the area which is only accessible to people with a wristband during the Pride Village Party, held this year on Saturday , August 4 and Sunday, August 5.

Shaun Davison, director of CBD Ethics Limited inside the shop in George Street, Kemp Town

Shaun Davison, director of CBD Ethics Limited inside the shop in George Street, Kemp Town

Directors Ryan Cahill and Shaun Davison told a hearing at Brighton Town Hall yesterday (May 14) how they applied for an alcohol licence with enthusiasm without thinking about wider consultation.

Mr Davison said: “We appreciate we should have talked to people first but we wanted to get the application in sooner rather than later.

“We just assumed by submitting the application it would notify the people who need to see it.”

He went on to explain they wanted to sell alcohol and have music in the shop as they did not think their usual customers would pay for a ticket to enter the area during Pride weekend, and they risked losing money.

The business sells hemp-based health supplements, skin care products and clothing as well as tea and coffee.

While questioning the owners, Conservative councillor Lynda Hyde pointed out she understood why they took their approach, but disagreed with it.

She said: “If I had a business there I would have spoken to all and sundry to make sure my application was correct.”

Panel chairman, Labour councillor Adrian Morris, was equally critical and pointed out their lack of awareness of actions other businesses were taking ahead of Pride in August.

He said: “At the back of the Queen’s Arms they have a small alleyway and this is going to be gated because of anti-social behaviour.

“It is a really crucial part of Pride. They are constantly monitoring that area with people from Pride observing at all times.”

In a letter objecting to the application, Brighton and Hove divisional commander chief superintendent Lisa Bull criticised the pair for failing to consult with police or Jayne Babb from PVP.

There was particular concern about no mention of Challenge 25, door staff or use of plastics.

In response Mr Davison explained he has extensive experience working in the pub industry and is the son and brother of publicans.

Mr Cahill told the panel of his experience running drum and bass events at the Volks Tavern and Coalition.

The panel is expected to give its decision by the end of the week.

Speaking after the hearing both Mr Davison and Mr Cahill expected their bid will be rejected and plan to contact Pride organisers and work with Sussex Police on a future licence.