A NEW shop has opened in Cogan – a legal cannabis oil dispensary.

The Ivy Garden provides a variety of herbal products and CBD oils – or legal cannabis oils.

“Our products are made out a type of UK legal cannabis called hemp, but we don’t shy away from using the word cannabis,” said owner Toni Desbois. “It’s only a word people find scary until they know about its benefits.”

The parent company of Ivy Garden has been trading online for more than 18 months, with its first shop in Swansea city centre due to celebrate its first anniversary at the end of August.

“Opening the Ivy Garden away from Cardiff’s centre is allowing us to take a different and more personal, unfussy approach to health care,” said Ms Desbois.

“The location of the shop is important to me. I was born and raised in Penarth so I’m very familiar with Cogan. Since the loss of the local corner shops, Cogan is crying out for something to bring back its sense of community.” Ms Desbois hopes to use her own experiences to educate and inform the community.

“I plan on organising some informal group meetings, with the intention of tailoring the info to the audience,” she said. “I have already been invited to talk at a pensioners coffee club and have been talking to some local parents, with a soft educational talk on cannabis directed at children 13 and older well received.”

CBD oil is a non-intoxicating alternative to THC, the component in cannabis that produces a ‘high’. It is claimed its benefits include help managing chronic pain.

“I’m not about the hard sell or pushing unwanted products on customers,” said Ms Desbois. “From experience, some customers can be vulnerable people, the unwell, the sick, and their carers are some of the most vulnerable in our communities – they should be protected from unethical or uneducated sellers when looking for products to help their health.

“I will never profess that cannabis is a ‘golden bullet’ or a cure-all for everything, but with a bit of guidance most people can get some benefit from introducing it to their health regime.”

Ms Desbois is positive about the shop’s future.

“The immediate response to the shop opening has been positive and I’m hoping our presence will be well received by all locals – even if it means stocking bread and milk alongside my usual stock!”