The Isle of Man government has enacted new regulations to provide a comprehensive framework for licensing the manufacture, distribution and export of cannabis products from the island.

The Isle of Man is a self-governing jurisdiction. After a series of consultations, Parliament, Tynwald, approved changes to the drug abuse rules that will allow commercial operators to manufacture medical cannabis products.

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) will act as the regulator for the start of the sector, which will generate around £ 3m annually in benefits over the coming years, significantly more through the growth of related infrastructure – including financial and financial operational – to support the sector. The government expects the medical cannabis sector to also support the Isle of Man’s cleantech and construction sectors, innovating and developing businesses inside and outside the island.

The growing global cannabis market offers significant opportunities for economic development in the Isle of Man. The global market is forecast to total $ 82.19 billion by 2027 and grow at an annual growth rate of 20.25% between 2020 and 2017, to raise awareness of the benefits of cannabis is expected to create new opportunities for the market. The new regulatory framework responds to industry and consumer demand for strict and flexible licensing of a wide range of cannabis products, from outdoor industrial hemp to indoor medicinal products. The framework applies to an export industry only, and there are no changes to the national legality of prescription medical cannabis or the legality of adult non-medical cannabis use in the Isle of Man.

The GSC gained access to expertise in the cannabis industry when it prepared its guidance material. It is also familiar with working with its colleagues in other countries, which will be an important part of the project’s success. The GSC will work with all relevant government agencies and law enforcement agencies to oversee the stringent regulations under the proposed amendments to the Drug Abuse Act.

Mark Rutherford, responsible for preparing the new legal framework at GSC, commented: “The island has a track record of being an early adopter of new sectors. Over the past 20 years, as the regulator for the island’s eGaming sector, the GSC has developed expertise to keep the industry crime free, protect consumers and create transparency. This experience complements the skills required for this in new and emerging sectors.

“This is an exciting opportunity and we have a sophisticated framework for monitoring gambling that can be easily adjusted to regulate the cultivation and processing of cannabis. We understand that this new sector has enormous potential to generate truly positive economic benefits. So we need to make sure that we treat the new cannabis sector the way we treated the gambling sector: licensees who are knowledgeable, credible and crime free from the start. ”

Lawrie Hooper MHK, Political Member in charge of Business Isle of Man, said: “We are excited to be opening this exciting new sector in the Isle of Man, leveraging the know-how to regulate new, complex industries while maintaining strict consumer safety to guarantee. We are confident that the GSC regulation will once again attract quality companies to the island, making the cannabis export sector a key contributor to the Isle of Man’s economic recovery after COVID. “