Isle Of Man Issues First Medical Cannabis License

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The island off the northwest coast of England is moving into the medical cannabis game

The Isle of Man, located to the west of the UK and approximately the same distance from England, Ireland, and Scotland, has just become a cannabis-producing country – even if for now still in theory. Namely, this self-governing island also considered a “possession of the crown” since 1828, has issued its first medical cannabis cultivation license.

The treeless island approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide is at an interesting crossroads when it comes to its economy. While fishing, agriculture and smuggling were all important parts of the economy in its past, these days offshore financial services, hi-tech manufacturing and tourism make up the majority of the island’s economy.

Cannabis is viewed by island authorities as another interesting opportunity.

Indeed, according to Enterprise Minister Tim Crookall, this development “represents the dawn of a new economic sector.”

An Interesting Path to Market

The progress so far on the island has been slow but steady. The applications to enter the industry were initially issued in June 2021. Unlike other places, the medical license was granted not by the Department of Health, but the Gambling Supervision Commission – which has been tasked to regulate the sector.

Medical cannabis is not yet available on the island, however a license to import and dispense it has also now just been granted – although this will also only be available to those with private healthcare coverage.

The Emerging British Cannabis Island Economy

One of the more intriguing aspects of this development is that cannabis cultivation projects are flourishing not on the mainland – but just off of it. This is true not only of the Manx cannabis cultivation project but what is going on just south of the UK on the Channel Islands. Medical reform is now done and dusted and Guernsey’s government is now openly considering a domestic recreational market.

Beyond this, it is far from inconceivable that such developments will not dovetail, at some point, with ongoing campaigns for broader medical access as well as the now booming CBD market and the nascent fully recreational one on the mainland.

It is easier to pass new kinds of legislation, like cannabis reform, in these smaller, semi-independent jurisdictions – and most of them need some kind of economic development project that will garner export sales to at least the British mainland.

For these reasons, it is likely that the islands around the UK will be hotbeds of forwarding cannabis reform for at least the next decade.

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