By Emily Ledger
Jersey has become the first place in the British and Irish Isles to grant an extraction license for CBD. The license will allow hemp farmers to process the flowers and leaves from their plants, to produce CBD (Cannabidiol) oil.
The license has been granted to a group of Hemp farmers on the island, who have been growing the Cannabis plant for three years. The trio of firefighters decided to set up their own Hemp business, developing a material called Hempcrete. Hempcrete is a fire-resistant building material made from the fibrous stems of the Hemp plant.
A license for CBD extraction was granted to Jersey Hemp on Friday (9th August), after three years of business. The license will allow the company to utilise the whole of the plant, as opposed to just the stems and seeds. Until now, the farmers had been using CBD oil in some of their products – but they had to import the substance from outside of the UK.
David Ryan, Chief Executive of Jersey Hemp, said:
“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”.
In the rest of the UK, Hemp farmers are currently unable to harvest the flowers and leaves of their plants. These parts of the Hemp plant is where the highest concentration of CBD can be found, and so are the parts used for the extraction of the cannabinoid.
The Home Office clarified in November, that farmers were unable to extract CBD from their plants, despite CBD products being legal in the UK. Last month, a large Hemp farm was forced to destroy its crop, after being denied a license renewal.
Patrick Gillet and Ali Silk, the farmers at Hempen, claimed that they had extracted CBD in the past, but stopped doing so after the Government’s clarification. They estimate that the co-op had lost £200,000 through the destruction of the farm.
Ryan expressed sympathy for the farmers who had been denied permission to extract CBD:
“We’ve just cut our 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.”
Jersey’s Minister for economic development, Lyndon Farnham, recently revealed the island’s plan to welcome medical Cannabis companies to the island. Farnham attended the Cannabis Europa convention in June, and the Jersey Evening Post claimed that vetting had already begun.
“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. Jersey has real potential in this area, and the issuing of this license signals our clear intent to position ourselves as a centre of excellence in CBD production, research, genetics, and intellectual property.”
It is yet to be seen whether the other Hemp farmers in the British and Irish Isles will soon be granted similar licenses for their own crop.