Jersey Hemp has received a £2m boost from a global investment company to help the homegrown firm establish itself in the £300m British CBD market and compete internationally.
The funding injection from Foresight Chairman and Founder Bernard Fairman (pictured top, left), as well as other "professional" investors, comes just months after the local company became the first in the British Isles to be granted a licence to harvest the hemp flower for CBD.
In its announcement this morning, Warwick Farm-headquartered Jersey Hemp said the funding will be used to establish extraction facilities and provide capital for the second year of cultivation and CBD production.
Pictured: Jersey Hemp CEO and founder, David Ryan. (Jersey Hemp)
This, the company said, should help the producer compete commercially with producers in China, Eastern Europe and the Americas where the majority of CBD sold in the UK originates.
It added that Mr Fairman, whose own private equity firm has more than £4bn under management, will become Non-Executive Chairman of Jersey Hemp.
The business was set up in 2013 up by a team of former firefighters, who initially became interested in the fire-resistant qualities of building material 'hempcrete', leading them to explore hemp's possibilities further.
From there, the idea grew into a large-scale operation at Warwick Farm, with the team creating products ranging from hemp cooking oil to protein powder and vape liquid.
But Jersey Hemp now has its sights firmly set on cracking the CBD market - and says its licence has already led to strong demand from wholesale partners in the UK and internationally.
It's estimated that overall CBD product sales in the UK are due to rocket to £1bn by 2025, already sitting at £300m annually.
Jersey Hemp CEO David Ryan (pictured top, right) said the Jersey Hemp team was “delighted” to welcome Mr Fairman “for what promises to be an exciting next stage in our journey”.
“He brings a wealth of experience in environmental impact investment and shares our core values around quality, traceability and provenance. With the help of our new investors we can now focus on delivering what we have set out to achieve – to develop Jersey Hemp as a market leader in its field and as a significant international brand,” he commented.
Mr Fairman added: “With its first mover advantage in a rapidly growing market, the attractions of Jersey Hemp as a business with huge potential and as an attractive investment opportunity are obvious.
“I am delighted to become Jersey Hemp’s Chairman and look to forward to working with David and the team to progress the company through the next stages of its growth as it scales up to become a leading player in the UK nutraceutical market and a potential European bridgehead for international companies involved in CBD.”
Pictured: hemp growing in Jersey. (Jersey Hemp)
While Jersey Hemp has today laid out international ambitions, it's also looking to expand locally, having secured planning permission to open a shop at its Warwick Farm premises last week.
Part of an existing shed will be converted in order to create the retail premises on La Grande Route de St. Jean.
The news comes just weeks after Express revealed plans to turn the Tamba Park site in St. Lawrence into a hemp farm.
Former owner Jonathan Ruff is one of a number of shareholders in the new business, which has already had a licence granted for hemp production. He said that growing is expected to start in spring 2020.
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