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Plans submitted for Jersey's first cannabis farm and knowledge centre

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A JERSEY-BASED partnership has submitted plans to build what could be Jersey’s first medicinal cannabis farm and research centre.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (24480945)

If proposals are approved, two agricultural sheds at La Pepiniere Farm in St Mary, which is near Crabbé, would be replaced with a single large shed with hydroponic and condensing facilities.

It is planned to build four growing areas in the barn as well as a trimming, grading and packaging centre, together with offices, a storage area and a breeding/nursery room.

The new barn would be soundproofed to counteract the noise caused by climate-control machinery, and closed to the public.

An acoustics report submitted with the application says: ‘The proposed development will comprise a single barn building which will replace two existing barns.

‘The proposals are for growing, processing and distribution of a crop grown for medicinal research purposes.

‘The barn building will be of a steel-framed panel construction. The building will be climate-controlled and proposed plants, which may include HVAC and condensing units, will be located within the building.

‘Crops will be grown throughout the year and there will be no public access to the site. A limited number of staff (no more than six) will access the site on a shift basis and as yet the shift times are not defined.’

The proposals were submitted by Marc Yates, who is the chief executive of the Therapeutic Cannabinoids International Partnership.

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Mr Yates said that medicinal cannabis was more than just an alternative crop, and the partnership hoped to use Jersey as a research and knowledge centre.

‘With all the hype about the new medicinal cannabis industry, the most important thing to realise is that the product is a human medicine,’ he said. ‘It is much more than just an alternative agricultural crop – it needs to be safe, proven and effective and that’s where research and knowledge comes in.

‘And that is also why TCI is fully committed to bring that research and knowledge to Jersey.’

A statement on the partnership’s website says that it is a ‘Jersey independently owned medicinal-cannabis-focused company’.

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It adds: ‘We are motivated by benefits that natural medicinal cannabis offers as an alternative form of medicine, coupled with the possibilities created by the application of innovative modern technology.

‘Committed to research and development, education and the production of the highest quality and consistent products, compliant with good manufacturing practice and international standards, we are working with our partners to revolutionise the medicinal cannabis industry.’

Earlier this year the JEP revealed that the States were issuing licences to grow medicinal cannabis in the hope of raising hundreds of millions in revenue from exports and re-invigorating the agricultural industry.

Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham has said that the Island could be an attractive growing location due to its reputation for tight regulation and security.

He also said that as well as boosting agriculture, the move could generate jobs in several fields including research and intellectual property.

Peter Le Maistre, president of the Jersey Farmers’ Union, said that he knew of another grower in the Island who was interested in growing medicinal cannabis.

He added, however, that he was concerned that the States were not moving quickly enough to issue licences to allow Jersey growers to enter the market.

‘If we don’t get a move on we could find ourselves losing out,’ he said.

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