The Isle of Man, a self-governing British dependency located between Ireland and England, has announced plans to create an export-only sector for hemp and cannabis products.
The island government said it was seeking input on its plans for establishing and regulating its would-be cannabinoid industry, noting Friday that a consultation would be launched for “industry, potential investors and other interested parties to provide input into the proposed framework.”
London-based industry group Canna Consultants worked with the Isle of Man government to draft the framework, which sets out separate licensing schemes for:
- The import, transport and/or storage of seeds.
- The cultivation and harvest of low-THC and high-THC cannabis seeds.
- The transport and/or storage of biomass and extracts containing controlled cannabinoids and cannabis-derived products.
- The extraction and/or processing of biomass and extracts containing controlled cannabinoids.
- The importation and exportation of biomass and preparations containing controlled cannabinoids and cannabis-derived products.
- The manufacture of cannabis-derived products.
- The analysis and testing of cannabinoids.
Cannabis would not be legal for prescription or recreational use on the island under the new framework, the government said.
According to Canna Consultants, the legislation to create an export-only cannabinoid sector could come up for parliementary debate and vote in December 2020 and be implemented as early as January 2021.
It remains unclear what an Isle of Man hemp sector could mean for suppliers, wholesalers and consumers in the UK, Europe, and elsewhere.
The island is not officially part of the European Union, and its parliament and government – not the UK’s – have competence over domestic affairs. This means Novel Food Regulations do not apply, though Canna Consultants’ Steve Oliver said he expects the island to supply novel-food compliant materials and products to EU countries.
“The sovereign and independent nature of the Isle of Man, its location and its history of innovation at the forefront of new industries has led it to create a highly efficient and flexibly regulated cannabinoid industry,” Oliver said.
“As an export industry, initially they can tailor goods to jurisdictions,” he added.
The Isle of Man is known internationally for the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race and home to the Manx breed of tail-less cats.