Businesses can now apply to cultivate cannabis for use in cannabis based products medicinal (CBPM) in the Bailiwick of Guernsey following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK Home Office. The agreement marks a significant step in the development of the Bailiwick's emerging cannabis industry which has quickly become one of the most established in the British Isles.
With the MoU now in place successful applicants will be able to cultivate cannabis plants with high THC content as they develop their products. Prior to the agreement, only licences for the cultivation and processing of CBD products were available.
Cannabis remains a controlled drug within the Bailiwick. Cultivation of cannabis is strictly prohibited within the Bailiwick unless carried out under licence. The revised licensing regime established in accordance with the commitment in the MoU applies to almost all businesses cultivating and processing cannabis in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. All applications will be received by the newly created Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA). Established by the Committee for Health & Social Care, the BGCA will be responsible for reviewing, regulating, inspecting and licensing cannabis businesses within the Bailiwick.
Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA)
- Under the United Nations' 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (the Convention) the UK Home Office hold a responsibility to ensure that the cultivation of cannabis in Guernsey does not breach the terms of the Convention. The Memorandum of Understanding with the Home Office forms an agreement between the Committee for Health & Social Care (CfHSC) and the Home Office to meet the terms of the Convention.
- The Convention requires that a government permitting the cultivation of cannabis must establish and maintain a government agency (the Agency) for cannabis. The Agency is responsible for designating areas of land for cannabis cultivation, licensing cultivators and specifying the extent of the land on which cultivation is permitted. The Agency is the main contact point for the Home Office in relation to cannabis licensing and the shared obligations under the terms of the MoU.
- The Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA) is constituted by the CfHSC and its membership is comprised of the Director of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation (Dr Tobin Cook), the Chief Pharmacist (Beverley Hall) and business support from the Committee for Economic Development (Keith Wilen), with close support and consultation with Bailiwick Law Enforcement officers.
- Licence applications should, where possible, be submitted electronically (firstname.lastname@example.org) or hard copies can be sent to the Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Association at the Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation, Longue Rue, St Martin, Guernsey, GY4 6LD.
- General enquiries from prospective licensees should be directed to Keith Wilen (Keith.Wilen2@gov.gg) and enquiries relating to existing licences should be forwarded to the Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation (email@example.com).
Cannabis Cultivation and Processing Licence Application Process
- This information is intended as a resource for prospective licensees and existing licence holders on the route to apply for a licence to cultivate and / or process cannabis for either CBD (cannabidiol) products or Cannabis-Based Products Medicinal (CBPM). A diagram of the full application process is included in the downloads section of this webpage but the following bullets summarise the general milestones in the process;
- Licence application received by BGCA
- Licence reviewed by BGCA
- Licence forwarded to the UK Home Office for review and feedback
- Joint site inspection by BGCA and Home Office (dependent on the outcome of the previous steps)
- Cannabis cultivation and / or processing licence issued by BGCA (again, subject to the outcome of the previous steps)
- Audits of site carried out by BGCA during the licence period
- Please note that other steps in this process exist and this is especially important with regard to the route to market for CBPM products. It is also important to note that this information is provided as general guidance only and that it does not constitute formal legal advice. Anyone in doubt should seek their own independent legal advice to ensure they are compliant with all relevant legislation. Prospective licensees and the public should be aware that it is an offence to cultivate any plant of the genus Cannabis except under a relevant local licence. It is also unlawful to possess, supply, produce, import or export this drug except under the relevant local licence(s).
- In order to make a valid application for a licence to cultivate and / or process cannabis, you must provide the following to the BGCA;
- Company details (name, address, contact, company status, registered number etc.)
- Site address (including Cadastre reference) and map
- Site plan
- Company background
- Responsible persons (Directors, partners, key operating personnel, regulatory affairs, organogram etc.)
- Nature and purpose of business undertaken (e.g. cultivation, production, CBD, CBPM etc.)
- Disclosure of relevant convictions (including details of current DBS enhanced disclosures / vetting for key personnel)
- Suppliers and details of the product(s) being supplied (including details of CBD, THC etc. content)
- Customers and nature of product(s) being supplied, including details of packaging, labelling, sampling etc.
- Details of site security and secure storage provisions (e.g. CCTV, fencing, alarms, security lighting, security personnel, site access, addressing security breaches etc.)
- Confirmation of Planning permission, including the relevant use class
- Details of transport of goods (e.g. why, what, how, frequency, record keeping etc.)
- Record keeping (including details of stock audits and annual statistical returns)
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including addressing potential light, odour, noise etc. issues, fire safety, cultivation, cropping, processing etc.
- Waste disposal (including legality and compliance of destruction, where appropriate)
- The relevant licence fee to enable processing of application (Fees to be published - please contact BGCA for update on fee information).
- Businesses considering applying to produce CBPM should consider the MHRA's requirements for the supply, manufacture, importation and distribution of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans. These are available here.