The Government of the Isle of Man has begun accepting applications for the production, distribution and export of medicinal cannabis products.
The Isle of Man, population 84,584, is a self-governing British Crown dependency situated in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.
Early this year, its government introduced a regulatory framework allowing commercial operators to grow, manufacture, distribute and export cannabis products under licence. The Gambling Supervision Commission (‘GSC’) is the regulator for the sector and has completed guidance to the framework, opening the way for applications.
It’s expected the new industry will create 250 new jobs and £3 million in annual benefit in the coming years for the Island, and play a significant role in the Isle of Man’s post-COVID economic recovery.
Taking elements from the framework for supervising gambling, the GSC is confident it has created a solid foundation for medical cannabis.
“What we now have will ensure that all stakeholders will be competent, crime free and capable of building a sector that is safe, trusted and efficient,” said GSC Director of Policy and Legislation Mark Rutherford.
The establishing of a medical cannabis sector has had strong resident support. A survey of islanders carried out in 2019 indicated 95% of the population support the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal products in the Isle of Man subject to suitable rules.
But this new legislation is just about exports and doesn’t alter domestic policies on the use of medical cannabis locally, the regulations for which are aligned with current UK cannabis regulation and practice. The Island’s Department of Health and Social Care is currently looking into the importation of medicinal cannabis products; seeking interest from pharmacy services providers to fulfil private prescriptions issued by clinics in the UK.
“The purpose of this method is to issue a single licence to support the need of the island, whilst be assured of the governance and safety of the systems being put into place,” states the related Prior Information Notice. “This route will also cancel the need for single issue import licences being required by individuals each time they wish to receive a privately prescribed CBMP.”
The EOI closes today.