There are a few cannabis projects afoot in Europe right now that are really awe-inspiring—and The House of Green on the British Channel Island of Guernsey is one of them.
That starts with the project itself. The idea, according to CEO and founder Paul Smith, was to create a controlled island project where cannabis featured in the center of economic development.
“The House of Green came about when a group of like-minded individuals with diverse cannabis, finance, governance, and sales experience came together with a desire to produce the best possible, naturally derived cannabis products that would help people suffering from all sorts of ailments and illnesses,” he said. “In the process we also thought we could help to diversify Guernsey’s economy away from its heavy reliance on the finance industry and re-energize the island’s horticultural sector.”
The House of Green is a cultivation, extraction, and manufacturing company, with an ongoing relationship with a group of local farmers to help invigorate local agriculture—not to mention stimulate green jobs in the hottest indoor crop on the planet right now.
For those unfamiliar with the history of the Channel Islands, they have been an outlier in “export” crops to the British mainland for many years. Most recently, for tomatoes and flowers, which is why the entire island is covered in now largely unused and going to fallow greenhouses.
Thus the genesis of Smith’s idea.
The brilliance of the same is that it is one of the first economic development projects in Europe—and one of the furthest along—although sadly at this point on the “other” side of the Brexit border from Europe, nevertheless at Europe’s doorstep.
Smith and his team have the full support of the island authorities. The local press loves them.
If there was a real life Saving Grace, this project might well qualify. And it is not hard to understand why.
The House of Green Team Is An Extended, International Cannabis Family
Beyond Smith himself, there is Gary Tucker and his wife Rebecca (the COO and Head of Compliance respectively), both expats from the US. Gary grew up in California’s Emerald Triangle (in a family-run business) and graduated to one of the top extraction facilities in the US before immigrating to this little island closer in geography to France than the UK with his own extraction patents.
“Guernsey has great potential within the cannabis industry,” he enthuses. “It has a history of horticulture stretching back over 150 years that erected vast amounts of greenhouses that now sit mostly unused. Given Guernsey’s physical position, it means it can easily access both the UK and EU markets. We’re excited to be doing cannabis here on the island.”
Then there is Gunther Gommes, the Belgian with a finance background, now Head of Economic Development, who speaks three languages. Most days, he is on the phone if not multiple WhatsApp channels, constantly connecting sales with ex-import opportunities in and out of the UK.
“Representing The House of Green and putting Guernsey on the cannabis map is more than exciting to say the least,” he says (in English). “Our quality and compliant driven mindset in a team with expertise from various core industry sectors sets us on the right path. Our vast spectrum of offerings given our unique setup of a vertically integrated company and proximity to key markets provides for The House of Green to be well positioned for the future.”
Beyond this core team, which also include two other American cannabis experts in cultivation and extraction respectively, are the extended supporters and a network, which at this point, includes a Guernsey brick and mortar CBD shop.
An Extended Portfolio
The company has its own brands (of course) but it is setting itself up to be a major white label producer—for clients both in the UK and in the EU. High-quality CBD vapes are their latest product and are a pivotal offering going forward.
Beyond that, there are regular inquiries about licensing equipment across Europe.
There are almost no self-contained cannabis experiments across the continent at all right now. Most of those are on the British Channel Islands, although some are further ahead than others.
On Guernsey, the team behind the enterprise has created a strategic path to market that includes CBD for now (along with the prerequisite Novel Food applications) and a path to EU-GMP and medicinal cannabis by the third quarter of 2021. This clearly not only attracts focus from industry players but is also recognised as a cornerstone strategy by shareholders.
The House of Green has also recently formed the Channel Islands Cannabis Industry Association, of which Smith is Chair. Together with representatives from the industry across the Channel Islands, this organisation is leading the way to develop the now growing industry locally and internationally.
In the meantime, they have braved the choppy seas of COVID-19 and Brexit—and are currently preparing to expand operations across the continent. The sky is the limit.