Hopes of US partnership on medicinal cannabis
JERSEY is hoping to partner with its US namesake – a world leader in medicinal cannabis – to help make the Island a major player in the industry and strengthen links between the two places, it has been revealed.
News of the potential partnership comes as the government is poised to begin issuing licences for medicinal cannabis cultivation locally.
Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham said ‘three or four’ licences were due to be issued imminently, with Jersey intending to position itself as a ‘centre of excellence’ in the field.
He said there had been ‘huge global interest’ in the Island since its decision to grant such licences in an effort to raise hundreds of millions of pounds in export revenues and reinvigorate the agricultural industry.
‘There has been huge global interest in what we have been doing and there are a number of local companies that are ready to commence various activities within the sector,’ he said.
‘This includes cultivation, extraction, production, manufacture, intellectual property, research and development. There are local companies and international experts working together to deliver these solutions in Jersey.
‘The licences are to be issued by the chief pharmacist and I understand three or four are going to be issued very, very soon.’
He added: ‘Potentially, it is something that will produce a very high economic contribution to the economy but use little resources in terms of space and it will create new jobs, skills and career opportunities.’
Senator Farnham recently led a team that met representatives from New Jersey at a trade summit in Washington DC, where he said the Island’s delegation received a ‘very warm welcome’.
The Senator said that as well as reigniting their cultural and social ties, both Jerseys were now also keen to work together in developing their respective medicinal cannabis industries.
New Jersey is one of the American states leading the way in developing the sector, having passed a series of bills extending the legality of its use since 2010.
Jersey, meanwhile, is trying to get ahead in the global market for the lucrative crop, with a number of local growers interested in cultivating it.
Plans were recently approved for the development of what could become the Island’s first medicinal cannabis farm and research centre, at La Pepinière Farm, in St Mary.
The Jersey-based Therapeutic Cannabinoids International Partnership, which submitted the plans, said it hoped to begin work on the facility ‘as soon as possible’.
Senator Farnham confirmed that a partnership with New Jersey on medicinal cannabis had been discussed.
‘It was one of the areas that we discussed when we visited Washington DC and it was one of the areas that New Jersey was looking at, so there could be some ties there,’ he said.
‘They have got some real high-level expertise in terms of research and development, so we are looking to work with them.’
He added: ‘What we are seeing in New Jersey and the United States is that there is a new generation of politicians who are coming through who are prepared to embrace our historical ties and use them to our common advantage.
‘We had a very warm welcome there at the investment seminar in Washington DC, where we met with delegates from a number of states, but particularly New Jersey.
‘We had a really strong commitment from them over the months and years ahead to build our social, cultural and commercial links.’
Senator Farnham added that interest in Jersey’s emerging medicinal cannabis industry was widespread and not just restricted to the US.