The only licensed farm in the British Isles to cultivate hemp and extract CBD onsite has shut down after the United Kingdom Home Office declared its products illegal, the BBC reports. Jersey Hemp co-owners David Ryan and Blair Jones said they laid off half their staff and halted their sales and growing operations after the UK government said it had found THC in its products and restricted export into the UK. 

A Home Office spokesperson told the BBC that the company requires an import license “before controlled drugs are imported into the UK.”

CBD in its pure form is not a controlled drug, but if a CBD product contains THC or other controlled cannabinoids then it is likely that the product would be controlled.” — UK Home Office to the BBC 

In an interview with the BBC, Ryan described the situation as “very frustrating,” and “pretty sad,” adding that the impact on the company “has been devastating.” 

Deputy Kirsten Morel, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, and Deputy Karen Wilson, Minister for Health and Social Services, said in a joint statement that the government remained “actively committed to supporting the 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,” the statement says. “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.” 

Ryan and Jones indicated they are considering taking both the UK and Jersey governments to court. 

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