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UK Home Office grants high-THC medical cannabis licence for £300,000 research facility

Construction on the purpose-built facility in Lincolnshire is expected to commence in July.

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DJT Plants will grow medical cannabis in the UK for research trials

A UK firm has been granted a Home Office licence to grow high-THC medical cannabis for research purposes. 

Cannabis investment firm Ananda Developments has secured a licence from the UK Home Office to grow cannabis with THC levels of greater than 0.2 percent. 

Its subsidiary, DJT Plants – a grower involved in the development of sustainable cannabis production techniques here in the UK for GW Pharmaceuticals – will grow 65 strains for use in large-scale research, focusing on the conditions for which cannabis products are being prescribed in the UK.

Subject to further Home Office licensing, DJT Plants intends to move to commercial growing, with the aim of supplying high-quality and consistent products to UK patients, as well as exporting to Europe.

Construction on the £300,000 purpose-built facility in Lincolnshire is expected to commence in July.

The site will include a laboratory, indoor breeding spaces and clean and secure areas for handling the harvested flower.

Two greenhouses will also be constructed adjacent to the facilities to accommodate the field trials. The whole research facility will be fenced, secured and monitored. 

Stabilising up to 65 strains

Thirteen strains have been chosen for the trials, with five seeds of each strain to be planted to create a total of 65 potential strains.

The chosen strains exhibit a range of profiles, based on current prescribing and researched information, including: low-THC/high-CBD, high-THC/low-CBD and balanced THC/CBD content.

From the 65 genetically stable strains, a selection will be made to match the best resulting strains with medical conditions.

Ananda Developments is a listed company, with shares traded on London’s AQUIS Stock Exchange.

Ananda Developments CEO, Melissa Sturgess.

Speaking to Cannabis Health, its CEO, Melissa Sturgess said: “All the material that we currently have in the UK is imported, and quality and consistency seems to be variable. 

“I think there’s a huge opportunity to provide a UK source of medicinal cannabis for both UK and international patients.

“Our aim is to have our own unique strains that will be suitable for the indications that are being treated in the UK, and will be plants or chemovars that thrive in UK conditions.

She continued: “Stabilising these 65 strains is about getting the genetics to the point where plant after plant after plant, you’re getting exactly the same cannabinoid profile. 

“We’re also very focused on terpenes which is fairly cutting-edge in terms of where medicinal cannabis is at the moment.

“While the research is thinking about terpenes, there isn’t much focus on the terpenes when it comes to the flower that is being offered.”

Growing sustainably 

DJT Plants will use the UK’s natural growing season, during which the facility will benefit from long hours of light and its greenhouses will create the right temperature to avoid having to rely on artificial light and heat. 

Its material will then be sent to Israel for cannabinoid and terpene analysis. 

“When you grow under artificial conditions of light and heat, the power that is consumed is astronomical, so whilst we talk about this natural product, we’re ignoring the fact that actually it can be really damaging,” said Sturgess.

“Patients and prescribing doctors will know they’re getting a UK product, which hasn’t travelled very far, meaning it’s probably going to be fresher, hasn’t chewed up power or transportation costs coming from the other side of the world and it will be consistent and of a high-quality.”

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Medical cannabis cultivation gets green light in Guernsey

Businesses can now apply for a licence to grow high-THC cannabis for medical purposes.

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It marks a significant step in the island's emerging cannabis industry

Businesses based in the Bailiwick of Guernsey can now apply for a licence to grow high-THC cannabis for medical purposes.

In a significant step in the development of the island’s emerging cannabis industry, businesses can now apply for a high-THC cannabis cultivation licence following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK Home Office. 

Previously only licences to cultivate cannabis for CBD products were available. 

According to a Government announcement on Thursday 22 July, applications will be received by the newly formed Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency (BGCA), which has been established by the Committee for Health and Social Care.

“Guernsey was one of the first to recognise the potential benefits that cannabis-based products medicinal might bring,” commented Deputy Al Brouard, president of the Committee for Health and Social Care.

“The MoU marks the start of a process that may allow these products to be produced on island for the benefit of patients within the Bailiwick and overseas. The creation of the Bailiwick of Guernsey Cannabis Agency further enhances our robust regulatory system for cannabis cultivation.”

Deputy Neil Inder, president of the Committee for Economic Development added: “Guernsey’s famous growing heritage continues to thrive within this new island industry. The MoU ensures that the Bailiwick can continue to remain at the forefront of a developing sector that provides diversification to our economy, revitalisation of our environment and new opportunities for skills and employment. 

“Growers once moved into finance and now finance is moving into growing. The Committee will continue to support the opportunities available in the pharmaceutical industry and I’m very grateful for the effort all parties have made to deliver the long-awaited MoU.”

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Report reveals positive outlook for European hemp farmers

Hemp producers are expecting to sell more than 80 percent of their production this year

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Hemp producers are expecting to sell more than 80 percent of their production this year

A new industry report published this week has revealed a positive outlook for European hemp farmers.

The second edition of the Canxchange quarterly benchmark report shows a fairly optimistic outlook from European hemp farmers.

It highlights a number of factors including the “slowdown of the COVID-19 pandemic” and “better visibility due to vaccine programmes that have been implemented across the globe” – giving farmers the confidence to invest in production machinery and materials.

According to the survey, the vast majority of hemp producers are expecting to sell more than 80 percent of their production this year, with 60 percent of participants having already pre-sold the majority of production for the year, and negotiations having already begun for the 2022 harvesting campaign.

Prices for CBD whole flowers, biomass and oil have remained stable, however, CBDCBN and CBC isolate prices from the US have been blowing “European competition out the water”.

It goes on to highlight that the last few months have seen European isolate prices stabilise at €400-500, but that US products that are beginning to appear on the European market continue to put pressure on producers.

The report is part of Canxchange’s strategy to encourage a more transparent and efficient physical hemp market.

The report states: “The minor cannabinoid space is gaining more and more traction as CBD has become a very competitive market and experienced CBD players are looking to diversify into minor cannabinoids which are picking up in popularity.

“CBN and CBC prices remain stable as the supply and demand curve looks stable. Some US products are starting to appear in Europe putting pressure for prices on European producers.”

Read more in-depth coverage of the Canxchange report at Cannabis Wealth

 

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CBD and cannabis in the UK – a few things you need to know

Are you thinking about trying CBD? Here’s a few things you should know.

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CBD products are legal in the UK
CBD products are legal in the UK - and they are becoming popular too.

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Are you thinking about trying CBD? Here’s a few things you should know about how things stand in the UK.

Everybody is talking about cannabidiol, it is becoming popular all around the world. However, a lot of people get confused when they hear that CBD comes from the cannabis plant. This causes speculation on whether CBD products are actually legal in the UK.

First of all, to address the question, is CBD legal in the UK?

The answer is yes. But, it is important to be aware of the rules first so that you can enjoy peace of mind and know where you stand.

The legality of CBD products in the UK

Just like in many other countries around the world, CBD products are legal in the UK. Indeed, they are becoming popular too. A product will have to be fit for human consumption in order to be legal. In addition, it cannot contain more than 0.2 percent THC. You can dive into CBD and cannabis resources here.

You will find that a lot of CBD oils and products are going to be sold as supplements. They should not be marketed as a cure to any illness nor claiming to help with any disease.

While there are studies available that suggest CBD can be a good thing for you to take on a regular basis, this is not something that a brand is allowed to market.

THC is illegal 

So, are there any CBD products that are illegal in the UK?

The answer is yes. The products that contain THC, which is known as tetrahydrocannabinol, are going to be illegal. The reason for this is, it is the psychoactive cannabinoid, which can make you feel high. It is important to note that THC is called a controlled substance in the UK. This is down to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Therefore, you want to look for CBD products that are free from THC. This is going to ensure that you can enjoy the product as intended, as well as making sure that you do not break any of the rules or regulations in the UK.

Another thing to consider is that harvesting hemp  – you can find out more at 9leafs – for CBD products is currently illegal in this country.

While there is a lot of uproar about this by farmers and there are people that want the law changed, this is how it stands right now. So, as a consumer, you will have to choose imported hemp and ensure that it contains no THC. 

Why is CBD popular in the UK?

If you are new to CBD, you may wonder why a lot of people are choosing to take it.

Well, there are studies that suggest cannabidiol can have benefits for your health. Namely, it may be able to help with joint and chronic pain, as well as with anxiety and stress.

There is also some suggestion that CBD may be able to help with insomnia, migraines and allergies.

 

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