Businesses can now apply to cultivate cannabis for use in cannabis-based products medicinal in Guernsey following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Home Office.
The agreement marks a significant step in the development of the Bailiwick’s emerging cannabis industry which has quickly become one of the most established in the British Isles.
The medicinal cannabis market is one of the fastest-growing cannabis sectors. Market intelligence from industry experts, Prohibition Partners, estimate that the European medicinal cannabis market will grow to a value of £16.1bn by 2024. With the MoU now in place, successful applicants will be able to cultivate cannabis plants with high THC content as they develop their products. Prior to the agreement, only licences for the cultivation and processing of CBD products were available.
Cannabis remains a controlled drug within the Bailiwick. Cultivation of cannabis is strictly prohibited within the Bailiwick unless carried out under licence. The revised licensing regime established in accordance with the commitment in the MoU would apply to almost all businesses cultivating and processing cannabis in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.2 All applications will be received by the newly created Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA). Established by the Committee for Health and Social Care, the BGCA will be responsible for reviewing, regulating, inspecting and licensing cannabis businesses within the Bailiwick. Further information about the application process is available here.
Deputy Al Brouard, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care said “Guernsey was one of the first to recognise the potential benefits that cannabis based products medicinal might bring. The MoU marks the start of a process that may allow these products to be produced on island for the benefit of patients within the Bailiwick and overseas. The creation of the Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency further enhances our robust regulatory system for cannabis cultivation.”
Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development said “Guernsey’s famous growing heritage continues to thrive within this new island industry. The MoU ensures that the Bailiwick can continue to remain at the forefront of a developing sector that provides diversification to our economy, revitalisation of our environment and new opportunities for skills and employment. Growers once moved into finance and now finance is moving into growing. The Committee will continue to support the opportunities available in the pharmaceutical industry and I’m very grateful for the effort all parties have made to deliver the long-awaited MoU.”