Tuesday 23 November 2021
The first licence has been issued to enable the cultivation of Cannabis-Based Products Medicinal (CBPM) in Guernsey.
The licence, issued by the Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA) established by the Committee for Health & Social Care (gov.gg/cannabislicensing), is the first of its kind in the Bailiwick and an exciting development of the island's emerging cannabis sector.
Guernsey has established a licensing framework with the UK that is the same as Jersey's and the Isle of Man's, via a Memorandum of Understanding. This was requested by the sector in order to ensure Guernsey businesses were on a level playing field with competitors and was led by the BGCA in order to provide robust, yet proportionate, regulatory oversight.
A total of seven applications were received and, while only one was successful at this stage, it is clear that a number of companies have invested already in their businesses and the States wants to give them the opportunity to get their product to market by meeting the requirements of the framework/MoU.
Each application is reviewed jointly by the BGCA and the UK Home Office and concludes with a site inspection. Applicants that do not secure a licence receive detailed feedback to support them with submitting further applications if they wish to do so. Where appropriate, conditional extensions have been granted to licence holders to ensure that they continue to operate legally and to provide them with an opportunity to continue to progress towards the required standards.
Cannabis remains a controlled drug within the Bailiwick. The cultivation of cannabis is strictly prohibited within the Bailiwick unless carried out under licence. The Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA) is responsible for reviewing, regulating, inspecting and licensing cannabis businesses within the Bailiwick.
Deputy Al Brouard, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, said:
'We're delighted to have been able to approve one business's application. The granting of the first licence represents a significant success, not only for the company itself but also the regulatory framework we put in place and agreed with the UK. We had seven applications and that in itself is very promising and I would encourage them to re-apply if they feel able to make the adjustments needed.'
Deputy Neil Inder, President of the Committee for Economic Development, said:
'This is a new sector to Guernsey so it's really important we get it right in terms of meeting international standards. That's why we have the MoU in place with the UK, as it benefits businesses that apply as there's a framework with clear standards to meet. I know that some applicants will be disappointed but we have provided feedback to them that there is a clear path to a second round of inspections should any of them choose to pursue it. The development of this sector is important as part of efforts to diversify our economy wherever possible.'
CBPM products often contain higher levels of Tetrahydrocanabinol (THC), a psychoactive constituent of cannabis, and must meet high standards of cultivation and production. CBPM products are only available by prescription in the British Isles.
Further information about the application process is available at: gov.gg/cannabislicensing.