Jersey has become the first place in the British and Irish Isles to grant a licence for farmers to harvest hemp flowers for cannabis oil.
A former Royal Marine commando and two former colleagues will be the pioneers who process hemp for cannabidiol (CBD) extraction.
The trio hit upon the idea six years ago when they were working as firefighters in Jersey. They had developed a substance called Hempcrete, a fire-resistant sustainable building material made from the woody core of the hemp plant.
They left the service and set up Jersey Hemp, which after three years in business was on Friday given a licence by the Jersey government for using hemp flowers to produce CBD.
David Ryan, Jersey Hemp’s chief executive, said they were delighted to get the licence. “It will allow us to supply products made using CBD with clear British Isles provenance to retailers and direct to the public. The market for CBD products is growing rapidly as it becomes increasingly recognised for its nutritional benefits and for general wellbeing.”
Ryan said the company had been using CBD in some of its products but until Friday they had had to import it from outside the British and Irish Isles.