By Emily Ledger
A Canadian Cannabis company. Sundial Growing Inc., has aims to be one of the first international movers to the flourishing UK CBD industry. The Cannabis giant has bought up one of the country’s leading growers of plants, flowers and herbs, the Bridge Farm Group.
Currently, the Bridge Farm Group owns 1.8 million square feet of growing space. The move will look to increase this to 3.8 million square feet by the end of 2020. This operation increase will make the farm in Lincolnshire one of the largest fully-automated growing facilities in Europe.
The aim of Sundial in the UK is Hemp. The cultivation of Hemp is legal in the UK with a Home Office licence. However, only the seed and fibre of the plant is permitted to be utilised. There are two options for Hemp growers in the UK – Industrial Hemp, which is mainly used for insulative materials, construction and clothing (among many other things), and CBD-rich Hemp. CBD-rich Hemp is what is usually used to make Hemp-CBD products.
Ted Hellard, the Executive Chairman of Sundial, said:
“We believe [the deal] gives Sundial the opportunity to be one of the first movers at scale within the CBD wellness market within Europe.”
Back in Canada, where recreational use of Cannabis was legalised in 2018, Sundial Growing produces a number of both CBD, and THC-rich products. However, due to the legality of THC in the UK, the levels of this compound are highly restricted. THC is the main psychoactive component in Cannabis, and is restricted to 1mg per container in the UK.
David Ball, Chief Executive of Bridge Farm, said:
“Demand for CBD products is growing with increasing consumer awareness in the UK market. However, consumers want confidence in the products they buy.
“Our philosophy as growers is that plants must be high quality and grown in a sustainable way and we will now be able to bring that expertise to CBD health products.”
The CBD industry in the UK has come under scrutiny recently, as official regulations are unclear, and often non-existent. Despite the efforts of Trade Associations, such as the CTA and CannaPro, self-regulation has not always been effective.