Cannabis oil ‘significant opportunity’ for Island
THE sale of cannabis oil represents a ‘significant opportunity for the Island’s economy’, the Economic Development Minister has said, as a Jersey company has received the first licence to farm hemp for CBD production in the British Isles.
Cannabidiol is on the rise in popularity as a natural pain reliever, and is reputed to have nutritional and environmental benefits. Unlike THC, the psychoactive element found in cannabis, CBD has no psychotropic effects.
Jersey Hemp, based at Warwick Farm, has been granted a licence to produce CBD oil from their locally grown hemp.
The company currently sell CBD products, but the oil used was previously imported.
Jersey Hemp is estimated to produce 30 to 40 tonnes of dry hemp annually, the flowers of which, Jersey Hemp estimate, would produce one to two tonnes of CBD oil. The CBD market is currently one of the fastest growing in the UK, as annual sales average £300 million and are expected to rise to just under £1 billion by 2025.
Chief executive David Ryan said that Jersey-grown CBD oil would be more attractive to UK retailers, as there would be ‘clear British Isles provenance’ over the current UK suppliers, which are China, the Americas and Eastern Europe.
Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham said: ‘The licence represents a significant opportunity for the Island’s economy, allowing us to begin cultivating and processing hemp for the extraction of CBD – a growing market, both in the UK and internationally.
‘Extracting Jersey-produced CBD will allow the Island to take its place in this fast-developing sector, supplying controlled and reliable CBD products with strong British Isles provenance. Jersey has real potential in this area, and the issuing of this licence signals our clear intent to position ourselves as a centre of excellence in CBD production, research, genetics and intellectual property.’
The licence to produce CBD has taken over a year for Jersey Hemp to acquire due to the Island’s strict laws surrounding cannabinoid-related products, the company said. Mr Ryan said that he was ‘really proud of the team’s hard work and effort that went into getting the licence’.
He added that he believed the licence marked a new turn for the Jersey-based production market, as there was now a potential for production of medicinal CBD in the Island.
The company’s chief science officer, Dr Chris Callaghan, is currently researching and developing the method to produce the highest-quality CBD oil.
The company grows multiple varieties of hemp and Mr Ryan hopes to develop an app which would allow the consumer to scan a code on their product to see the local field that the hemp was grown in.