External Relations Minister Ian Gorst lodged a proposition to update regulations so that profits generated by growers of the drug for medical purposes would no longer be seen as illegal, if from specified countries subject to strict checks.
It was yesterday passed by 34 votes to one with only Deputy Kevin Lewis voting against the proposals.
The move comes as countries where Jersey’s finance sector has strong business interests, such as the USA and Canada, have increasingly decriminalised the production and sale of cannabis – in particular for medical use and, in some areas, for recreational consumption.
Jersey has also made moves to enable the production of medical cannabis in the Island, with several firms such as Northern Leaf and Green Island Growers, looking to enter the developing global market.
Senator Gorst said the changes were not targeted at the local growing industry but at enabling investors to use Jersey to invest in cannabis companies.
‘Around the globe jurisdictions have made statutory changes with respect to cannabis which legalise the production, supply or use of medicinal cannabis and even so in some cases for recreational use. Jersey has been active for many years through its financial services industry as a location which pools assets for investment and where we can use our experience to achieve global reach in delivering effective investment in a range of activities.
‘Due to the global nature of the financial services industry, local financial services businesses can now be exposed to proceeds generated outside of Jersey which have a nexus to law for cannabis production in places like Canada and the United States,’ Senator Gorst said.
‘This nexus can either be direct or by processing proceeds from the production supply or sale of cannabis or indirect by processing monies related to investments in cannabis companies or investment funds.’
Under the proposition, a list of approved countries – where profits from the industry are no longer categorised as criminal proceeds – will be compiled. This is provided that they are viewed as lawful in their respective jurisdiction.