Tenacious Labs, which is involved in the supply and development of products such as CBD oils and hand creams in the UK and North America, aims to work with local medicinal cannabis growers such as Northern Leaf and Cicada, as it looks to expand its business.
And the company also announced this week that it is joining the Cannabis Services Advisory Board, a new trade organisation formed to represent the Island’s emerging sector.
Earlier this year the States passed an amendment to the proceeds of crime law to enable investment in cannabis-growing companies on an approved list of jurisdictions across the world, providing the activity is not illegal in the country of origin.
Tenacious chief executive Nicolas Morland said that this move, as well as the Island’s reputation for being well-regulated, had prompted their decision to move their head office to Jersey as it would enable them to expand their business interests more easily.
He said: ‘We could locate in Canada, the US or the UK but we are choosing to locate to Jersey and it’s purely for commercial reasons. There are two main ones. First is the level of constructive engagement from suppliers and the government, which is incredibly valuable. The second is they have rewritten the proceeds of crimes law in co-ordination with the Home Office in the UK. It gives us real credibility that we’re putting ourselves in a jurisdiction that has been doing this properly.
‘If I talked to investors they would rather come to us in Jersey where it’s got a mature financial services sector, which they are not going to risk, and are going to do things properly.’
Mr Morland added that he believed Jersey could become a go-to place for the international medicinal cannabis industry, similar to other business hubs across the world such as Silicon Valley for tech or London for commodities trading.
He said: ‘Jersey at the moment is ahead of the curve. Everyone says they want to do this but they haven’t done the mechanics. Jersey has done the mechanics.
‘Companies like us will shift to Jersey because it makes sense and the more of us do it, the more others will do it too. The quicker you guys become a recognised jurisdiction, the better. You’ve taken advantage of being big enough to be a proper government and small enough to be nimble.
‘The UK and the US are very interested in what you’ve done and they’ll catch up fast. But at the moment you’ve got a first-mover advantage and I reckon you’ve got a six- to nine-month window to get ahead. Once you have, you have become an accepted place for this sort of industry to base itself and that could be really valuable long-term. These sort of things snowball fast and you could become the go-to place.’