If you’ve been watching the European cannabis market like us, then you’d know the most interesting place holding recreational cannabis discussions is the remote island of Guernsey.
This forward-thinking island lies between the UK and France and has been the trailblazing part of the UK, asking some serious cannabis reform questions over the past few years. There’s a petition going around that’s championed by a political leader who also recently resigned from Guernsey’s Home Affairs Committee over the island’s cannabis laws.
It’s said that Marc Leadbeater’s position as director of a local hemp company sparked interest in other committee members to discuss his view on drug reform. Leadbeater is now proposing a political process to legalize recreational cannabis on the island of Guernsey.
If the proposal moves forward by seven State members, the topic will then stand before the Guernsey government. The new interest in cannabis reform in government officials follows a statement by former Chief Minister of Guernsey, Gavin St. Pier. In the report, St. Pier shared his belief that a legalized market would better regulate, license, and tax the industry to benefit the island’s economy.
Since July, cannabis cultivation licenses have been available to the public. The island also holds many extraction companies. So, the thought that cannabis would be an economic tool to redevelop the acres of empty greenhouses on the island has been a hot topic for quite a while.
Some reasons behind this are that other European countries like Luxembourg and Switzerland are implementing recreational markets. Since Guernsey is a small island, they could follow this trend and significantly impact the discussion of a recreational market in the UK.
Since the island is on the British side of Brexit, Guernsey would potentially become the first part of the UK to implement adult-use reform, but they would have to ensure that the island favors doing so. The only definite way of obtaining legal cannabis in the UK is through a doctor or a private medical clinic.
However, obtaining medical cannabis is off the table for many UK residents because of its expensive cost, and the practice of getting a personal import license is also rather pricey. We’re not expecting real cannabis reform to take place on the UK’s mainland any time soon, so this is why Guernsey’s potential cannabis reform is the perfect starting point, a trial to dip the country’s feet in the waters if you will.