Cannabis hub could create 100 jobs in Guernsey
More than 100 jobs could be created in Guernsey if a medicinal cannabis hub is created in the island.
Two Guernsey companies, 4C Labs and Pura Health, have formed an "exclusive partnership" to "serve patients top quality imported products".
Cultivation of cannabis has been permitted under licence in Guernsey since July 2021.
The move comes amid concerns about a growing trade in medicinal cannabis being sold on the black market.
4C Labs has a licence to grow on the island but intends to import the majority of its product from Canada.
The hub would allow companies to import bulk medicinal grade cannabis to then turn it into other products that can be sent to the UK and Europe.
James Smith, chief revenue officer for 4C Labs, said Guernsey was the ideal place to use as a medicinal cannabis hub.
He said: "We can bring in bulk material, we can transform it into other goods and we can ship those goods into Germany, soon France, soon Poland, soon Ukraine.
James Smith believes Guernsey is well located for access to European markets
"These are all markets that over the next 12 to 24 months are going to expand and grow," he added.
Mr Smith said the move could create jobs for about 100 people working in cannabis on the island.
"These are not just gardening jobs or packing jobs, this is work that requires scientific degrees and working in a laboratory."
Tina Bolding set up Pura Health in 2018 with the aim of making medical cannabis more accessible to people and said: "We're really pleased and excited for our patients that this will be a high quality product that they will automatically see the benefits from."
Andrea Nightingale, the substance use lead for the Health Improvement Commission, told BBC Radio Guernsey that there was a growing trade in prescription cannabis being sold on the black market.
'Cannabis psychosis increase'
"Patients are going in, giving their symptoms and, having been prescribed and over prescribed, they are then dealing it effectively on the streets," she said.
"It's a growing problem especially for our young people."
She said that "used in the in the right way", medicinal cannabis was "certainly helping the people with the symptoms that they have".
But there had been a "marked increase" in cases of cannabis psychosis in Guernsey since 2019, when cannabis was legalised for medicinal use, she said.
She also said: "We have reports that because it is expensive, younger adults are using their rent money, which means that they're getting into trouble with landlords.
"It's real concern to us."
The commission was writing a report for the Health and Social Care Committee "looking at various options and and working with the industry to see what we can do and see how we can get a better situation", she added.