Jersey has officially become the first place in the British and Irish Isles to allow a licence to harvest hemp flowers for cannabis oil to farmers.
The pioneers who will process hemp for cannabidiol (CBD) extraction will be a former Royal Marine commando and two former colleagues. The idea of cannabidiol extraction had struck the trio six years back, when they were working as firefighters in Jersey.
They had collectively developed a substance known as Hempcrete, a fire-resistant sustianable building compound derived from the woody core of the hemp plant.
They left their service and established Jersey Hemp, which after three years of operation was given a legal licence by the government of Jersey for using hemp flowers to produce CBD.
Jersey Hemp’s chief executive, David Ryan said they were ecstatic to have received the licence. Ryan said the licence would allow them to distribute products made from CBD with clear British Isles provenance to retailers and directly to the consumers. The CBD market is growing at a rapid pace as it is increasingly recognized for its health benefits and nutritional claims for general well being.
Ryan added that the company was using CBD in some of their products but until Friday they had to import it from outside the British and Irish Isles.
The former soldier said the licence has empowered them to produce their own hemp oil and this will dramatically reduce the costs as they will not have to import CBD from other places anymore. The company can legally grow their own hemp and then sell it directly to consumers in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Recent estimates show that annual sales of CBD products are worth £300m and are anticipated to increase to just short of £1bn by 2025.
The licence will grant access to Ryan and his colleagues to cultivate and process an estimated of 30 to 40 tonnes of dry hemp annually. Nearly 3% to 5% of the total yield from their 74-acre (30-hectare) organic hemp farm will be for cannabinoid.
The minister for economic development, sport, culture and tourism in Jersey, Lyndon Farnha said that by legalizing hemp cultivation and processing of CBD oil, the island will experience its fast-developing sector, supplying reliable and controlled CBD products to strong Bitish Isles provenance.
Jersey has significant potential in this area, and by issuing the licence for legal hemp cultivation and processing, it signals the clear intent to position Jersey as a centre of excellence in CBD production, processing, genetics, research and intellectual property.
Two hemp farmers from Oxfordshire destroyed nearly 16 hectares of hemp crop last month, because the Home Office denied its legality and said it was no longer allowed to harvest hemp for CBD oil.
Ali Silk and Patrick Gillett, the two farmers have now launched a nation campaign to have decision reversed and force the Home Office to allow licences to other British farmers who wish to grow hemp for CBD oil and other extracts.
The duo stressed that the CBD oil they had extracted from hemp was within the legal limits issued by the Home office– 0.2% THC, tetrahydro cannabidiol, a substance which is responsible for casuing hallucinations and the ‘high’ that users feel while smoking weed or pot.
But CBD is a non-psychoactive, anti-inflammatory compound which is widely popular for its healing capabilities. CBD has many health benefits, from reducing stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, epileptic seizures to treating inflammation, pain, aches, irritation and much more, CBD is found to be effective in improving the overall health of users.
Ryan sympathized with the farmers who had destroyed their crops due to such regulations. He said that they had just cut their first hemp flowers and it was a great feeling to know and experience that they can make their own oil from now on wards.