Home Cannabis Isle of Man to Expand Cannabis Business

Isle of Man to Expand Cannabis Business

by Team Inc.


The Isle of Man has been dominated by offshore financial services for decades, but now the government is planning to boost a new kind of economic growth: medical cannabis. The British Isle hopes to license 2025 companies to grow and export medicinal cannabis products by the end of 10 as part of a strategy to boost development.

Tim Johnston, the Isle of Man's Enterprise Minister, said the island's government was "really looking to diversify the economy", and that encouraging a medical cannabis industry one aspect was of a plan to nearly double GDP by 2032, create 5.000 additional jobs and provide opportunities for young residents. Johnston said: “We recognize that we have an elderly population. We would like to see that change.”

Economy and cannabis impulse

The island in the middle of the Irish Sea has a population of 84.000 and an economy that has long since abandoned sectors such as fishing in favor of financial services. Insurance companies have the largest share followed by the gambling sector. The island is also rated by tax activists as a tax haven and financial secrecy jurisdiction. The Tax Justice Network finds that financial flows through territory cost other countries billions of pounds in lost revenue every year.

Johnston rejected criticism of the role of the Isle of Man's financial services in the global economy, saying the island has strong regulation and transparency. However, he said there was overwhelming support to look into medical cannabis and other industries as the government aims to grow the island's population to 15 in the next 100.000 years.

The government issued its first conditional permit to startup GrowLab Organics last year. Notably, licensing is handled by officials under the island's gambling regulator. This is because the government has decided that this would be faster than setting up a new body.

medical cannabis

Cannabis-based medicines – mainly prescribed for chronic pain – were legalized in the UK in 2018. There is no sign yet of recreational cannabis being legalized in the UK, although it is legal in some US states, Canada, Uruguay and the Netherlands and soon in Germany.

Only specialist doctors can prescribe the drug in the UK and all companies selling it must meet the strict requirements of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Isle of Man producers will not have free access to the UK market. The island is following in the footsteps of Jersey and Guernsey, two other crown possessions, in legalizing the cultivation of medical cannabis.

Producers will also compete with a handful of UK companies that have gone through the tedious process of getting Home Office approval to produce medical cannabis. GW Pharmaceuticals was the UK pioneer before being bought for $7,2bn (£5,7bn). Celadon Pharmaceuticals was given the opportunity to sell cannabis oil in the UK this year. Phytome, based in Cornwall, focuses on researching and extracting substances from cannabis plants, rather than selling them to pharmacies.

GrowLab Organics on the Isle of Man hopes to export 15 tons annually. It has applied for a plan to build a cultivation facility on the island. Once that facility is built, it will be eligible for a full permit, provided it meets defined criteria. The dried cannabis flowers would largely be used in vaporizers for safe and easy use for patients.

Source: theguardian.com (EN)

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