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Medicinal cannabis industry brings up to £60m investment to Jersey

Medicinal cannabis industry brings up to £60m investment to Jersey

Monday 05 June 2023

Medicinal cannabis industry brings up to £60m investment to Jersey

Monday 05 June 2023


Jersey's Economic Development Minister has claimed the island's burgeoning medicinal cannabis industry has so far attracted up to £60m investment into Jersey since 2016.

Deputy Kirsten Morel shared the figures last week while being questioned on the sector at a Scrutiny hearing chaired by fellow Jersey Deputy, Moz Scott.

"I can promise you that as a Government we have not spent anything close to £50m to £60m on developing this yet – we've had that inward investment, so the benefit to the island is already clearly a positive," Deputy Morel said.

The Minister went on to explain that this investment has chiefly been in the form of construction of the cannabis farms, adding: "Because we have a high regulatory bar, it is not possible to create a cannabis farm without spending millions of pounds."

Comparisons were drawn between Jersey and Guernsey's medicinal cannabis industries by Guernsey's Deputy Gavin St Pier. 

He used Twitter to question how much investment there has been in Guernsey's industry with a number of members of the public responding by alleging that "Guernsey is missing the boat", has thrown away opportunities and that the industry has been a "complete failure" in the island.

Those claims are backed up by business insiders who recently told Express that while the retail side of the industry is growing successfully the production side of the business is moving to Europe where laws are being updated more quickly than here. 

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Established in 2019, The House of Green recently entered into a joint venture with Proto Global GmbH, the German parent company of Schaeffer Nutraceuticals.

The newly built GMP certified facility at Kostrzyn in Poland - which is already manufacturing nutraceutical products for Schaeffer Nutraceuticals - will replace The House of Green's former facility in Guernsey which closed down last year.

While it won't make any difference to the business in Guernsey as that site had already closed, The House of Green believes that the challenges facing the industry locally will cost the island in the future.

"There will be no further job losses in Guernsey as a result of this move as we had already closed down the operational part of our business in Guernsey last year and unfortunately had to make some redundancies at that time," explained the business.

The first licences for the commercial cultivation of medicinal cannabis in both Guernsey and Jersey was issued in 2021.

However, last year, a report by a previous Scrutiny panel claimed that Jersey's opportunity to cash in on the $600m-strong industry opportunity was being put at risk by "weak" regulation.

Kirsten Morel

Pictured: Jersey's Minister for Economic Development has revealed that the medical cannabis industry has brought between £50-60 million of investment to the island since 2016.

It also suggested that there was a lack of clear Ministerial accountability, planning rules and adequate fees being applied to businesses.

Last week's Scrutiny Panel meeting heard that a first draft of a 'strategic development plan' for the industry in Jersey will be published at the end of this month.

It will focus on the "development of Jersey's own detailed and specific regulations for the cannabis industry, and will also include a risk assessment of the industry".

The Minister argued that strong regulation of the medical cannabis industry will give the island a competitive advantage.

“Jersey’s reputation is pinned to the mast of high regulation and high quality, that's the only way this will work in Jersey. That's what attracted people here already," he said.

Deputy Scott said her panel were "encouraged" by the updates on plans for the sector, adding that they will be "following proposed regulatory developments closely".

READ MORE...

Guernsey's loss is Europe's gain

FOCUS: The complications of a new industry with rigorous standards

Growers facing £0.5m losses fear "cannabis is finished for us"

Medicinal cannabis legalised in Guernsey

New jobs expected after second cannabis firm is licensed

“Major step forward” for Guernsey and UK medicinal cannabis patients

Politicians “extremely concerned” by lack of medicinal cannabis regulation

FOCUS: A blossoming $600m opportunity at risk

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