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Guernsey Cannabis Prescriptions Top 13,000 In Last Year

Cannabis plant flower bud garden

Guernsey, a self-governing British Crown dependency island in the English Channel near the French coast, only has a population of roughly 65,000 people. Yet, three private clinics on the island have reportedly issued over 13,000 medical cannabis prescriptions over the course of the last year.

Medical cannabis reform was first implemented in Guernsey in 2019, with the British Crown dependency issuing its first medical cannabis cultivation license in November 2021. Momentum for adult-use reform picked up in recent years, however, actual passage and implementation of an adult-use cannabis measure seems unlikely for the foreseeable future.

Lawmakers in Guernsey agreed in 2022 to explore the idea of adult-use cannabis reform. Unfortunately, all laws passed by Guernsey’s government must also be approved by the United Kingdom’s Privy Council – a concept known as ‘royal assent.’

“One of the hurdles we’ve encountered as we have looked more deeply in cannabis legalisation is getting royal assent in the UK [passed by the King’s Privy Council, which, at the moment, appears very unlikely.” stated Policy & Resources Committee member Deputy Bob Murray earlier this year.

A survey of domestic lawmakers in Guernsey back in the summer of 2022 found that over half of them supported reviewing the nation’s cannabis policies, with 40% of survey respondents indicating that they supported rescheduling cannabis.

For now, Guernsey’s emerging medical cannabis industry will continue to serve patients via the prescription process. If local lawmakers and industry members have their way, Guernsey’s industry will increase in size and scope in the coming years, and serve patients in other jurisdictions.

The stated goal coming out of Guernsey is for companies to be able to import raw cannabis from other jurisdictions, make them into various products, and then export those finished products to large European markets such as Germany.

However, for that to happen a “massive investment” needs to be made into the industry according to Deputy Marc Leadbeater, and investors seem hesitant.

“The problem is a lot of the previous investors in medicinal cannabis are wary about investing in that area at the moment due to developments with cannabis legislation across the globe.” Deputy Leadbeater stated according to reporting by the BBC.