Next destination for the industry? Isle of Man

Stephen Andrews
21 Feb 2022

Peel NRE has unveiled plans for a £100m Isle of Man medicinal cannabis complex. It is understood that the complex will entail a new science innovation and research centre, a sustainable energy park and a medicinal cannabis facility on Cooil Road, Bradden, Isle of Man. The flagship scheme is marketed to create new, high-quality technical jobs and boost economic investments on the island.

A recent change in the Isle of Man's laws governing cannabis production and exportation makes the proposals timely, as the Island is poised to become a leader in emerging medicinal cannabis markets.

The planning application, due to be submitted to regulators later this year, will include details for phase one of the development. It will encompass two units for the cultivation facility as well as an access road, engineering works and preliminary landscaping. 

Peel NRE, part of billionaire island resident John Whittaker's Peel Group, is currently open for a public consultation period. Members of the public can engage with Peel NRE by 7th March 2022 at the latest. After this date, the firm is expected to submit an application to the Environment, Food and Agriculture Department. 

"The Isle of Man Government is seeking to establish an innovation cluster on the island, dedicated to the production and export of cannabis-derived products serving the medicinal and pharmaceutical markets", said in a statement Stephen Snowdon, planning and development manager at Peel NRE. 

Snowdon added: "We are excited to bring our proposals forward to help to create a new export market, more jobs and attract a range of specialist scientific and development industries to the Island to support the local economy." 

Finance director Chris Eves said there was "never a better time to grow the industry than the post-pandemic era", reports the BBC. 

The project would oversee the construction of atmospherically-controlled facilities to cultivate highly potent cannabis products to enter the pharmaceutical market, Eves said. 

The cultivation units of the complex will be protected by "comprehensive security measures" and research and development facilities, he said. 

Isle of Man authorities opened up for licenses for the production and export of medicinal cannabis on the island last summer. The Gambling Supervision Commission has been appointed as the island's regulator for the sector. 

Mr Eves said the law change, alongside the zoning of Peel NRE's land at Braddan for employment use, has allowed for the plans to progress. 

He said that the firm has already held "high level" talks with potential operators of the cultivation facilities, who would need to apply for the licenses. 

Peel NRE's scheme is the latest in a series of big investment construction projects. Glass Pharms, which holds the first UK commercial license, announced at the end of last year it will build top-notch cannabis cultivation in the South of England. Glass Pharms project is valued at £22.5m.

Stephen Andrews