‘Cannabis will drive revival of horticulture’

DERELICT greenhouses are being brought back to life thanks to the evolving medical cannabis sector.

Left to right, Gary Tucker, Bruce Caruso, and chairman Paul Smith of The House of Green. Mr Smith said the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Home Office which allows high THC cannabis to be grown on-island could lead to a revival of the horticulture industry. (Picture by Cassidy Jones, 29801082)
Left to right, Gary Tucker, Bruce Caruso, and chairman Paul Smith of The House of Green. Mr Smith said the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Home Office which allows high THC cannabis to be grown on-island could lead to a revival of the horticulture industry. (Picture by Cassidy Jones, 29801082)

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Home Office, businesses can now apply for a licence to cultivate cannabis for use in medicinal cannabis-based products in the Bailiwick .

A States spokeswoman said due to the multiple steps required to complete the application process, no licences had yet been issued, but there had been several parties expressing interest.

The House of Green chairman Paul Smith said it had anticipated the change and had begun the application process.

He said the introduction of the MoU should simplify the production process for all local growers, allowing the opportunity for the medical cannabis sector to thrive.

‘Greenhouses left derelict can be used once again, bringing business, employability, horticulture and possibly wellness tourism back to the island,’ he said.

‘I appreciate the health and social sector have been very busy with Covid, but now, with a new States assembly, I am very happy this topic has been more in focus.’

Prior to the agreement, only licences for the cultivation and processing of CBD products were available.

The MoU now allows new strains of the cannabis plant with higher levels of THC to be cultivated on-island.

THC is the chemical responsible for most of the drug’s psychological effects – it stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating euphoria.

Research shows that THC can also relive pain, anxiety, insomnia and muscle spasticity.

Mr Smith said the MoU should significantly benefit islanders dependent on the medical benefits of cannabis and he hopes local production will reduce their prescription costs and delivery wait times.

‘Our team is very confident, we are ready to put the proper policies in place and implement extra control in our facilities to service the Bailiwick to our full potential.’

. Cannabis remains a controlled drug within the Bailiwick and its cultivation is strictly prohibited unless carried out under licence.

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