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Frequently Asked Questions

The new changes

Who is the regulator for the industry, and why?

The GSC is a statutory body who currently regulates Isle of Man licensed gambling operators with international markets. The GSC is an established law enforcement agency and has various enforcement powers prescribed to it within legislation. As a statutory body and industry regulator, the GSC has the power to investigate, monitor and take appropriate action against suspected and confirmed breaches of terms.

Previously, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had the power to make Regulations and licence activity which would otherwise be unlawful under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1976. Given the nature of this new opportunity and the industry’s potential for growth, there is a need for clear regulatory guidance and oversight.

As this new sector focuses on exportation only, it was agreed that regulating and licensing the new sector should be transferred to a function of government better placed to consider the aspects of licensing, vetting and supervision. The GSC was identified through its historic success in regulating complex emerging industries.

What do the changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act/Transfer of Functions Order mean?

The Transfer of Functions (Licensing of Cannabis, etc.) Order 2020 transferred certain functions of the DHSC and related legislation to the GSC. As a result, the Order amended the Gambling Supervision Act 2010, under which the GSC’s supervisory activities operate.

The functions transferred include –

  • The issuance of licences disapplying the prohibition of the importation and exportation of cannabis;
  • Making regulations under the Act for certain licence holders to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess or cultivate cannabis which would otherwise be illegal;
  • Issuing such a licence;
  • The power to specify terms on which a licence may be issued;
  • The power to modify or revoke a licence; and
  • The power to prescribe a licence fee.

The new Regulations provide for the cultivation of medical cannabis for export purposes only. The changes do not allow any conduct in the Isle of Man that is not already permissible in the United Kingdom under their Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (as amended).

What role does the GSC play in the regulation and supervision of cannabis cultivation?

The GSC’s role is to facilitate the licensing, regulation and supervision of activity related to the cultivation of cannabis. The GSC has no involvement in domestic legality of prescription medicinal cannabis, or the legality of non-medical use of cannabis on the Isle of Man.

The GSC supervises licensees through a robust supervision programme which includes but is not limited to integrity tests, site inspections, testing, regular financial and harvest returns.

Where the GSC determines that a licence holder is not adhering to the conditions of the licence, it can enforce the destruction or disposal of a crop and suspension of a licence at any time.