A Croydon business selling therapeutic oil from cannabis plants that was inspired by tragic cancer diagnosis is flourishing.
“Something good has come out of something terrible” according to one of the duo pioneering new hemp-based products from their Croydon-based business.
Tom Rowland’s father was sadly diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and while the family wrestled with the terrible illness the potential benefits of products from cannabis plants in treating the pain of cancer came to light.
Inspired to make use of the legal product, CBD oil, which was aiding his father through cancer, Mr Rowland began a unique business venture.
The CBD – cannabidiol – oil is legal, unlike cannabis oil, and in recent years has been popularly received for “health and wellbeing” benefits,
Mr Rowland’s father, also called Tom, sadly passed away from cancer in 2016 – but not before seeing the start of a successful company pioneered by Tom and his business partner.
The cannabis business has grown spectacularly in the few years since it sprung up in the bedroom of the Purley entrepreneur.
Tom Rowland and friend and business partner Tony Calamita have gone strength to strength selling CBD oils derived from a legal strain of hemp.
Mr Rowland said: “It’s a bit of a sad story really. My dad was diagnosed with cancer, bladder cancer, in 2014.
“We heard cannabis oil could cure cancer or help with cancer, and my family was researching to see if it could help people.
“[But the cannabis oil] that’s not legal. In the meantime doing that research we came across another product which was CBD.
“I discovered it was legal and decided to create a business from it. My dad got cleared of his bladder cancer but in the latter part of 2014 he got lung and liver cancer. It wasn’t good news.
“But something good came out of a really terrible situation. My dad fully supported what I did and though it was great, and the business took off.
“It [the CBD] did help him, he used it. My dad passed away on fireworks night in 2015.
“ He saw us becoming successful, it’s a bit shame he didn’t get to see how big it became.”
Research is ongoing to establish the impact of the cannabis compound CBD, and how it could be helpful in therapies for those suffering cancer.
The Croydon business is joining the growing numbers producing the legal oil which does not have psychoactive properties, unlike other compounds from the cannabis plant.
What began as a bedroom start-up soon expanded.
Mr Rowland said: “I was joined by my business partner Tony in 2015 in March time, three months later we created Love Hemp.
“From the first months we made thousands. I never thought it would be this big.
“It’s nice. It’s not snake oil, you know, If it didn’t work we wouldn’t sell it.”
The oil is becoming a more mainstream product, with the likes of Holland and Barret now stocking varieties of CBD products.
Mr Rowland is stunned at being part of the booming new industry.
He said: “If someone had said four years ago, you’re going to be doing this, I’d have said ‘no way’.
“We started the business with £2,500 from my bedroom.
“At the time my family owned gym in Purley, the Dynamics gym. We took over a few office rooms in there, and now we have a spot at the Capital Business Centre in Purley.
“We’ve gone from just two members of staff to now employing 12.
“It’s amazing how much it’s grown. We want to continue that into the future.”
The company are in talks with several businesses and looking to put the first CBD-based water on the market.
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