Jersey Hemp has become the first company in the British Isles to receive a licence to harvest hemp flowers for CBD oil.

Government officials on the island have granted the company a licence to harvest, process and store hemp flower to legally produce CBD oil.

David Ryan, Chief Executive of Jersey Hemp, says he is delighted the company has been given the license: “The market for CBD products is growing rapidly as it becomes increasingly recognised for its nutritional benefits and for general well-being.

“The fact that we can produce the oil for ourselves legally here in Jersey will massively reduce our costs now that we don’t have to import CBD anymore.

“We can do it ourselves under one roof and then sell directly into the UK and beyond. It was a no-brainer to get the licence given that we were using CBD oil up until now but from foreign hemp farms.”

This decision means that the company will now be able to produce 30-40 tonnes of dry hemp a year, catering towards the growth of the CBD market and major steps towards understanding of CBD and hemp production.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, Economic Development Minister in Jersey says the decision is only beneficial: “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.”

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), have also shown their approval towards the licence and say it is a huge achievement: “EIHA welcomes the license to harvest, process and store hemp flower to legally produce CBD oil and we would like to personally congratulate Jersey Hemp for the big achievement.

“It is a positive signal to the market and to the sector that is suffering from a patchwork of different legislations in Europe.

“The lack of a clear, well-functioning and harmonised legal framework for hemp-derived products is the biggest barrier to a flourishing market for Europe, without forgetting the enormous benefits for the environment of growing hemp.”

What does this mean for the future?

According to the Centre for Medical Cannabis, the market for CBD products is already worth £300m a year. This decision is set to contribute towards the predicted rise to £1bn in 2025.

CBD, has been found to have no psychotropic properties unlike other cannabinoids found in cannabis. The decision could contribute towards a better understanding of CBD and hemp, leading to other legalisations in Britain.

There’s still long a way to go

Just last month, farmers in Oxfordshire were forced to destroy 16 hectares of hemp crop after the Home Office said they were no longer allowed to harvest it for CBD oil.

Patrick Gillett and Ali Silk, the farmers involved, have since launched a national campaign to try and reverse the decision and to encourage the Home Office to grant licences to other British farmers who want to use the crop for CBD oil and other extracts.

The pair said that the CBD oil they extracted from hemp was well within the Home Office’s legal limit of 0.2% THC.

David Ryan stated that he strongly agrees with what they are doing: “We’ve just cut out first hemp flowers today and it’s a great feeling to know we now can make our own oil. We will be harvesting them from now until October.”

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