In a contentious disagreement with the UK government over the legality of its products, Jersey Hemp, the only licenced establishment in the British Isles permitted to cultivate hemp and perform on-site CBD extraction, has ceased operations.
The company expressed its disappointment at the Home Office’s stance, which deemed their products illegal. In response to these claims, Jersey Hemp underscored that they had worked diligently to abide by the UK Food Standards Agency’s laws.
However, the Home Office maintained that any controlled substance entering the UK would require an import licence.
David Ryan and Blair Jones, co-owners of Jersey Hemp, confirmed the unpleasant reality that the company had terminated most of its workforce and suspended sales and growth activities.
According to them, the government had curtailed the company’s exportation of products to the UK after detecting minor levels of THC in their products.
This action, they claim, was backed by the Jersey authorities. Currently, they are contemplating legal action against both governments.
It is important to note that THC is a controlled substance that cannot be brought into the UK. To export cannabis outside Jersey, individual shipment licences under the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978 are mandatory, as per the island’s government.
Further, a Home Office representative reiterated the requirement of an import licence “prior to importing any controlled substances into the UK”. They clarified, “While pure CBD isn’t a controlled substance, if a CBD product includes THC or other regulated cannabinoids, it is highly probable the product would be controlled.”
Jersey Hemp stated that they have invested three years in ensuring UK compliance standards were met.
“We find ourselves in a precarious position that warrants a reevaluation,” said Mr. Ryan, adding, “The implications of these developments have been shattering and incredibly disheartening.”
A joint statement by Deputy Kirsten Morel, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, and Deputy Karen Wilson, Minister for Health and Social Services, emphasised the government’s ongoing dedication to backing the cannabis cultivation industry.
They noted, “Jersey Hemp is currently in talks with HM Government regarding UK exports. We, however, as a separate jurisdiction, are unable to comment or speculate on these discussions.”
The statement further stated that “all licensed cannabis cultivating businesses in Jersey bear the responsibility to ensure compliance with the pertinent laws of the jurisdictions they export products to.”
The news regarding Jersey Hemp will be a blow to the small island. Last year there was hope that the grassroots group Stop Cannabis Prohibition Jersey were turning the tide on the small island.