Jersey Hemp shuts over legality row with UK

The BBC reports

The only farm in the British Isles licensed to grow hemp and extract CBD onsite has closed in a row with the UK government over whether its products are legal.

Jersey Hemp said it was disappointed “with the Home Office’s position declaring their products illegal”.

It said it had worked with the UK Food Standards Agency to comply with laws.

The Home Office said an import licence was required before controlled drugs were imported into the UK.

The company’s co-owners David Ryan and Blair Jones confirmed it had laid off more than half of its staff and stopped its sales and growing operations.

They said the government had restricted the export of its products to the UK after it found low levels of THC in its products, a move they claimed had received “subsequent support of the Jersey authorities”.

The company said it was considering taking both governments to court.

‘Frustrating, sad, devastating’

THC is a controlled drug which cannot be imported to the UK.

In order to export cannabis outside of Jersey, licenses are required under the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978 and are issued on a “shipment-by-shipment” basis, the island’s government said.

A Home Office spokesperson added that an import licence was also needed “before controlled drugs are imported into the UK”.

“CBD in its pure form is not a controlled drug, but if a CBD product contains THC or other controlled cannabinoids then it is likely that the product would be controlled,” they added.


Jersey Hemp said it had worked for three years on ensuring it met UK compliance standards.

Mr Ryan said: “We’ve got to really take a step back and consider the position we find ourselves in.

“It’s very frustrating, pretty sad, the impact on us has been devastating.”

Deputy Kirsten Morel, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, and Deputy Karen Wilson, Minister for Health and Social Services said in a joint statement that the government remained “actively committed to supporting the cannabis cultivation industry”.

It said: “We are aware that Jersey Hemp is in contact with HM Government with respect to exports to the UK – as a separate jurisdiction, we cannot comment on those talks and would also not speculate on their outcome.

“All businesses that are licenced to cultivate cannabis in Jersey are responsible for making sure they comply with the relevant legislation in the jurisdiction into which they export products.”




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