GUERNSEY cannabis company The House of Green has submitted three of the seven medical cannabis production applications in the UK Crown Dependencies’ first licensing round.
BusinessCann understands that the remaining four cultivation licences have also been submitted by companies domiciled on The Channel Island.
Earlier this year the Guernsey government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UK Home Office designed to kick-start the development of the island’s medical cannabis industry.
Companies wishing to produce ‘Cannabis Based Products for Medicinal use’ must file an application with the Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA).
First Crop in 2022?
It announced last week that seven such applications had been received and BusinessCann understands more will be submitted over the coming weeks and months.
Paul Smith, CEO, of The House of Green (THoG), a Guernsey-based low-THC hemp and CBD business, says it is looking to become the largest medical cannabis player on the Channel Island with two applications submitted for a total of 12 acres of cultivation, and a third for its 20,000 sq ft extraction facility.
He said: “Our applications have been submitted and we expect to be subject to a site visit from the Home Office in October. If the application progresses smoothly then we will be in a position to begin planting our first high-THC seeds early next year.”
Deputy Neil Inder, President of the State of Guernsey Committee for Economic Development, said: “It is highly encouraging to see such a positive response from businesses in just a few months since the MoU was signed.
“These are the early steps of a promising new sector for the Bailiwick, one which is already attracting interest and investment locally and from overseas. Guernsey is now well placed to remain at the forefront of the cannabis industry, and we will continue to support its development.”
Established Hemp And CBD Player
THoG is already a leading player in the island’s CBD sector with three acres of low-THC hemp currently being harvested which are expected to garner three tonnes of biomass, delivering 240 litres of CBD oil.
It also has supply agreements with a number of hemp growers on the island delivering biomass from a further dozen acres. The company also has a retail footprint in the island’s capital St Peter Port.
The most popular lines in its catalogue are vaping cartridges, oils and tinctures. Supplies to its domestic CBD market can include a THC content of 3%, however its mainland exports have to stick to the UK’s 1mg per pack rules.
THoG expects to generate annual sales of over £5m from its CBD portfolio over the coming years. It says this will help support the growth of the medical cannabis operation with talks already underway with distribution and sales partners.
Mr Smith, who is also a member of the Channel Islands Cannabis Industry Association, continued: “We already have a Letter of Intent to supply a German distributor and export opportunities are being discussed with companies in Portugal and Greece.
“Whilst it’s hard to judge how quickly the UK and European markets will develop they are all heading in only one direction. For example in the UK there are around 3,000 medical cannabis patients but if Government policy is to change then there could be a sudden surge in demand.
Guernsey’s Advantages In Global Market
“Here in the Channel islands, Guernsey patient numbers have increased from zero to 500 and are projected to be up to 1,000 by end of the year – and Jersey has over 1,000 patients.
“As a company we are members of a number of UK trade organisations pushing for medical cannabis to become more widely-available and when it becomes more accessible then demand will soar.”
While he acknowledges that it will be producing products in the Pound Sterling, per gramme range, compared to the few cents per gramme range of countries such as Colombia he remains bullish on the island’s prospects.
“We are fairly confident there will be a market for our product. Much of the flower coming into Europe comes from Colombia, Africa and Canada and we have the advantage of being able to shorten that supply chain and deliver quality products with a lower carbon footprint.
“Guernsey has a reputation for quality, be that in banking or cannabis, and we believe can satisfy European demand from a jurisdiction closer to home, with our own quality kite-mark.”
He anticipates planting anywhere between five and ten acres in 2022 and is assembling an experienced team with North American cultivation expert Gary Tucker as Chief Operating Officer.
@For an in-depth analysis on how the UK’s Crown Dependencies are stealing a march on the mainland see this earlier BusinessCann report.
Main image: THoG’s low-THC hemp facility on the island