Medicinal cannabis was legalized on the Isle of Guernsey in 2020 followed by licenses for cultivation and production and more than 5,000 medical marijuana permits given to patients. Now it appears the Channel Island is looking to fully legalize all forms of cannabis.
In fact, both Guernsey and Jersey, which sit between the United Kingdom and France, have undertaken cannabis reform in a way unseen in the U.K. and all of Europe for that matter.
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And another Channel Island, the Isle of Man is planning a multi-million dollar medical facility led by the Peel Group investment firm governed by billionaire John Whittaker.
Guernsey Moves Ahead With Legalization
The BBC reported that Guernsey’s Committee for Health and Social Care (HSC) suggested that while legalization is being worked on, Public Health officials should look at how regulation functions in other successful legal weed-legal countries, though it’s a short list.
To that end, a group of cross-party members of Guernsey’s parliament went on a fact-finding trip to Canada. One of the most remarkable facts they found, and probably quite appreciated, is that Canada’s adult-use cannabis market has generated some $11 billion in retail sales and sustains over 90,000 jobs annually.
Goal To Make Cannabis A Driver Of Economic Growth
While medical cannabis programs in the U.K. and Europe have been largely driven by patient demand, the Channel Islands are looking closely at the economic benefits.
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For islands like Jersey and Guernsey, both of which have a mild climate for greenhouse cultivation, cannabis offers a unique opportunity to access an international market through export. Both islands are positioned to benefit from a rapid rollout that would cement their access to the growing number of EU countries that have approved medical cannabis.
Channel Islands Are Not Part Of UK Or EU
Guernsey — 25 square miles in size with a population of nearly 700,000 — as well as Jersey and the Isle of Man are self-governing and not part of the U.K or the European Union. Their self-governing status is working to their benefit on this issue.
Broad Support For Legalization Among Guernsey’s Official HSC
Support for cannabis legalization on the HSC has been championed for years by Deputy Marc Leadbeater, who is also the director of a local cannabis cultivation firm.
Leadbeater said “this doesn’t need to be the top priority for HSC in 2022” but cannabis legalization it is a piece of work “we want to get progressed.”
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.