Large parts of Guernsey’s budding medicinal cannabis industry are suddenly facing a crisis.
Some local growers say they have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in a dispute with the only company currently able to handle their supplies.
Express has been told by multiple sources that the company, The House of Green, recently suffered a setback when its application for licences to cultivate were rejected by the new Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency.
In turn, The House of Green has confirmed reports that the Channel Islands Cannabis Industry Association is concerned about Guernsey’s licensing system. The licensing system was set up last year by the States’ Committee for Health & Social Care. The Association and the company are currently discussing their concerns in a series of meetings with various deputies.
One grower yesterday (Friday) told Express: “Cannabis growing is finished for us – we have no-one to sell it to.”
Pictured: The House of Green describes itself as Guernsey's cannabis industry leader.
He blamed growers’ financial challenges on The House of Green. He said growers had invested hundreds of thousands of pounds based on letters of intent signed with The House of Green. Express has seen one of these letters of intent.
The grower said the agreement was that The House of Green would support the growers with soil preparation and supply them with seeds and pots to grow cannabis and would then buy the growers’ produce and, if it was of suitable quality, process and export it.
The grower said the relationship soured after The House of Green signed for and took ownership of several tonnes of raw biomass but did not pay an invoice for the produce. He claimed that, instead of paying the invoice, The House of Green wrote to growers suggesting that there was no agreement to buy their produce and the growers needed to take it back.
“We can’t take the product back because we don’t have a licence to store it,” said the grower.
“It felt like the start of something good. The House of Green were meant to be saving the growing industry in Guernsey, but they have ended up destroying it.”
Express asked The House of Green about its licence applications and whether it is able to export cannabis, what it intends to do with the produce which the growers allege it is holding and how the problems reported by the growers are likely to affect the industry.
Pictured: The House of Green's CEO, Paul Smith, said the company is in the middle of a series of meetings with deputies and others.
Paul Smith, Chief Executive of The House of Green, said: “The Channel Islands Cannabis Industry Association met with the Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA) and various deputies on 19 January 2022 to discuss concerns that the industry had regarding Guernsey’s cannabis licensing system following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Home Office.
“The outcome of that meeting was that the States and the BGCA would take forward a number of action points and would refer back to industry in due course.
“The House of Green has a meeting scheduled to discuss its own position with the BGCA and deputies on Friday 4 February, which was the first available date that the BGCA and the deputies would be available.
“Until we have held that meeting and clarified our own position with the BGCA, we are unable to provide any further comment.”
In November, the BGCA said it had received seven applications for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis-based products, approved one and rejected six.
The States told Express that they would provide no comment at this stage.
Pictured: Separately, Express contacted Deputy Neil Inder in particular. The President of the Committee for Economic Development has spoken extensively about the potential of the cannabis industry locally. He did not respond. Express understands that he is among a small group of deputies due to meet The House of Green again next Friday.
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