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Jersey Hemp Closes After 'Ironic' Home Office Decision

Jersey Hemp has been forced to close its doors and lay off more than half its staff after a UK Home Office decision that deemed its products illegal.

It means the company is now cut off from 90% of its market, but it says that other 'non-licenced' CBD products are still allowed on supermarket shelves.

A director at the company, Craig Dempster, says Jersey Hemp has been 'singled out'.

"The only British CBD producer has now been excluded by the British market.

Every other CBD in the UK is imported from America, Asia and Eastern Europe with varying degrees in quality.

We had a homegrown product that you could manage from seed to shelf. We had full traceability."

The Home Office argued that the company's products don't satisfy the 'three-part test' to be exempt from the UK's drug laws.

They are that the product is not designed for administration of the controlled drug to a human or animal’; the products are presented for sale in a way in which the controlled drug element, which in this instance is THC, cannot be readily extracted so as to constitute a risk to health, and that no single product can contain more than 1mg of THC.

Jersey Hemp say that the department belive their exports contradict the 'first limb' because they contain THC.

Craig attacked local politicians for failing to challenge the UK's decision.

"The decision has been enforced by the Government of Jersey, who have been spineless in this situation.

Instead of just suggesting that the Home Office reconsider because of the irony of the situation, they have put a clause in our licence which restricts the exportation of our goods."

However, the government says it is 'committed to supporting the island's cannabis cultivation industry'.

"We are aware that Jersey Hemp is in contact with HM Government with respect to exports to the UK.

As a separate jurisdiction, we cannot comment on those talks and would also not speculate on their outcome.

Licences to export cannabis out of Jersey are required under the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978.  These are issued on a shipment-by-shipment basis and would only be issued once the UK has issued its own import licence.

All businesses that are licensed to cultivate cannabis in Jersey are responsible for making sure they comply with the relevant legislation in the jurisdiction into which they export products."

Jersey Hemp has threatened to sue both the UK and Jersey governments over the decision, calling it 'ironic'.

"The Home Office has full traceability - right to the field it was grown. It can't say that about any other CBD companies.

The head of drugs and firearms licensing from the department has visited Jersey three or four times, so they have unrestricted access to our whole process."

You can read their full statement here.

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