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As part of a plan to double its GDP and create more job opportunities, the Isle of Man is looking to grow and export cannabis products for medical use.
Near Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK), where cannabis is illegal except for medical purposes, the Isle of Man is home to 84,000 citizens and an economy driven mostly by the insurance sector (1,2). Now, as part of a plan to diversify its economy, grow its population by 100,000 over the next 15 years, and create 5,000 more jobs, the island hopes to license up to 10 firms by the end of 2025 to grow and sell cannabis products for medical use (1).
“As a high-value, low-volume manufacturing business it fits well into what we need to do on the island. We need to make sure when things are exported they are high value,” said Tim Johnston, the Isle of Man’s minister for enterprise (1). “We recognize we’ve got an older population. We’re keen to see that change,” he also stated.
Competition for the Isle of Man includes several other UK producers that already have approval to sell medical cannabis oil and products, plus two other islands, Jersey and Guernsey, that have already legalized medical cannabis cultivation (1). All UK companies selling medical cannabis must meet strict requirements, and only specialist doctors can prescribe cannabis for medical uses (1).
Last year the first conditional license on the Isle of Man was issued to GrowLab Organics, a British cannabis company headquartered on the island (1,3). It has applied to build a growing facility and hopes to export 15 tons of cannabis per year from the island (1).