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UPDATED: 'Cannabis farm' licence approved

UPDATED: 'Cannabis farm' licence approved

Friday 15 February 2019

UPDATED: 'Cannabis farm' licence approved

Friday 15 February 2019

The first licence for growing 'low THC, high CBD cannabis plants' has been approved in Guernsey meaning a vinery site in the Vale will soon be used as a 'cannabis farm'.

The licence was granted by the Committee for Health & Social Care which said it has approved the licence specifically for use in premises known as Le Douit Vinery.

That land has recently had planning permission granted, meaning a company called Celebrated Ltd is going to put up a new building, which it said would be used as a "processing and packing area for distribution".

tina bolding

Pictured: Tina Bolding owns Celebrated Ltd.

The company is also behind the island's first 100% dedicated cannabis products shop, the Original Alternative. That store opened in August last year, and sells organic CBD oils and other herbal remedies.

It is owned by Tina Bolding, who started researching alternative medicines when her late husband was unwell.

Brian Bolding had been diagnosed with cancer and was regularly in unmanageable pain, leaving his wife determined to find an alternative solution. She hopes that, while unable to help her own husband, her work will eventually see the creation of a testing and research centre set up in his memory.

Mrs Bolding said; "Guernsey’s unique and forward-thinking legislation is allowing greater scope for the research and development of this emerging therapeutic market. This is an opportunity for the island to lead the way in helping people globally through the specialist knowledge base we are creating on-island.

"We know increasing numbers of people are experiencing and understanding cannabis oils, and it’s heartening to regularly be stopped in the street in town by people who say they are now leading more fulfilling lives. It didn’t happen in time for me to achieve the same for Brian, but I know he’d be beaming with pride at what’s happened since.”

She says now she has planning permission and a licence, people in Guernsey will be able to buy locally produced cannabis oils, along with other health supplements, with just a few miles from the production site to the shop on the town seafront.

Mrs Bolding said; "Hundreds of islanders have already tried our cannabis oils and are reaping the benefits. Currently the oils need to be imported onto the island, but by having control over the complete process, we believe we can refine our oils and produce even better products."

She also thinks this will benefit the island's much depleted growing industry as she hopes other businesses will follow hers in making use of derelict vinery sites. 

"This decision will not only benefit our customers, but it also means we can resurrect Guernsey’s proud growing tradition: where the once thriving tomato growing industry has given way to derelict glasshouses, we will now able to breathe new life into the sector. We will be on hand to advise and help locals develop the industry and guide them through the licensing process."

CBD oil

Pictured: CBD oil, as sold at the Original Alternative store in St Peter Port. 

A second licence application, again to grow low THC, high CBD cannabis plants has been approved subject to completion of outstanding documentation.

The licence which has been approved, was granted on the advice of the Chief Pharmacist, Ed Freestone, after a number of requirements were satisfied. These included:

  • the final products to be produced and their purpose
  • the packaging materials and marketing proposals for products designed for sale to the public
  • security measures, proportionate to the risks involved

Planting is expected to begin at Le Douit Vinery within the next few weeks, in what's been described as a state of the art growing and processing facility.

"Our fully-equipped laboratory will mean we can grow and develop the finest oils, which will conform to any legislation in any country allowing Guernsey to be a leading light and trend setter in the current cannabis evolution," said Mrs Bolding.

"To be able to produce these products on-island, and support our local economy, is something that fills me with both excitement and pride."

Pictured top: The vinery site.

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