Tag: Guernsey


Legalization Efforts In Guernsey ‘Not Likely To Get UK Royal Assent’

Guernsey may not be the first place that comes to mind when someone thinks about cannabis policy, however, the self-governing British Crown dependency is home to some ardent cannabis supporters. Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel near the French Coast.

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.’ It appears that such approval is unlikely, at least at this time. Per excerpts from BBC:

Policy & Resources Committee member Deputy Bob Murray said several departments were examining the issue.

But he added any law was not likely to get UK royal assent “at the moment”.

He said: “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.”

There is recent precedent regarding cannabis policy, royal assent, and its use to prevent adult-use cannabis legalization pursuits. Bermuda, which is also a British Crown dependency and subject to the royal assent provision, was on a path to making significant cannabis policy reforms last year.

However, all of the progress hit a dead end when the Governor of Bermuda, who is appointed by the United Kingdom, effectively vetoed a cannabis reform measure previously passed by Bermuda lawmakers by refraining from granting royal assent. As with Bermuda, Guernsey should be able to set its own cannabis policies.

Guernsey, United Kingdom


Lawmaker Survey Finds Strong Support For Cannabis Reform In Guernsey

Guernsey is an island located within the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It’s part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency. It’s likely not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about cannabis reform.

However, there is growing support for cannabis reform in Guernsey, including within lawmaker circles. The Guernsey Press recently analyzed survey answers involving lawmakers and their views about cannabis policy. Per the Guernsey Press:

Although some answers were nuanced or not particularly clear, we can work out that more than half of Guernsey deputies – Alderney representatives in the States were not involved – were supportive of the medicinal use of cannabis.

More than half were again supportive towards looking again at the way cannabis is regulated.

And about 40% were open to some form of legalisation of the Class B drug for personal use.

It’s always a nuanced thing when lawmakers express general support for cannabis reform, in that their support is just that – general. It doesn’t provide insight into what specific provisions they may support.

Do they support home cultivation? Do they support a regulated industry? There are a number of policy components that go into cannabis policy reform, and any number of them could result in a lawmaker switching from ‘supportive’ to ‘opposed.’

Still, the survey results from Guernsey are encouraging. It could definitely be worse, with the numbers flip-flopped. Thankfully, that is not the case.



Could Guernsey Lead The Way On Recreational Cannabis Reform In The UK?

The Channel Island has made great strides on the medical front. Will recreational reform be next?

Guernsey has been moving forward steadily on cannabis reform for the last several years. Envisioned as a way to help bring new business opportunities for the acres of empty greenhouses across the island, the development of the industry has received enthusiastic support from political leaders on the island.

Currently, the vast majority of cannabis patients on the island still have to import their medicine, via the British mainland, from other parts of the world, including Canada and Germany. About 800 patients have been issued approximately 5,000 individual import licenses over the last 18 months. This will gradually begin to change as local medical cultivation and extraction gets up to speed here.

However, recreational reform is also potentially in the offing.

Guernsey is, as a result, potentially the first place recreational reform will take hold in the United Kingdom. Local politicians who just returned from a fact-finding tour of Canada, also predict that full legalization will occur on the mainland within 5-10 years.

A Medical and Recreational Source of Flower

One of the drivers of cannabis reform here, beyond caring for local inhabitants with serious health conditions, has clearly been the economic redevelopment of an island that, in the past, provided a local source for the cut-flower industry on the mainland.

Growing here, rather than the UK, especially if the government revises domestic rules on the island, seems like a no-brainer.

However full reform is still a bit controversial on Guernsey. There is a clear sentiment that they do not want the island to become “just like Amsterdam” – namely breeding a tourist trade that comes here for the cannabis.

Growing, in some cases, extracting, and then exporting to the mainland is the focus here.

Could Reform in Guernsey Drive the British Discussion?

There is no doubt that reform has moved more quickly on the British islands around the UK than on the mainland itself. Both Jersey and Guernsey have progressed at least on medical cultivation, while on the Isle of Man, a $100 million-plus project has been announced.

In the meantime, the British Isles have moved forward on CBD reform. The Food Safety Authority just released a list of approved products for sale in the UK – and this will continue to grow. There is no reason that while the larger questions of reform are ironed out on a national level, however, Guernsey will still be able to grow hemp and high THC cannabis and export it, plus extract, to the mainland, while developing their own home-grown version of reform, that is also very likely, within the next several years, to include change of the recreational kind.


International Cannabis Business Conference



© International Cannabis Chronicle. All rights reserved. Site developed and hosted by Rogue Web Works.