JERSEY Hemp is pushing for a judicial review – and is likely to seek ‘multi-millions’ in damages – over a Home Office ruling that forced it to close its sales and growing operation.
Director Craig Dempster said the company was ‘reluctantly forced to turn to the courts’ after civil servants in Whitehall decided that its CBD products were illegal, preventing it from exporting to the UK.
Mr Dempster has claimed Jersey Hemp was told its product was banned because it contained THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – even though the level had been proven to be within legal parameters – and has criticised both the Jersey and UK governments for the ‘ridiculous’ situation.
The company has lodged an application for permission to bring a judicial review in the UK High Court of Justice against the Secretary of State for the Home Office Department, Suella Braverman.
Jersey Hemp also said that Health Minister Karen Wilson had been identified as a ‘potentially interested party’, possibly signifying a shot across the bow for Jersey’s government.
Mr Dempster added: ‘As we cannot get common-sense engagement with the government we have been reluctantly forced to turn to the courts for relief. I am delighted that our main shareholders have confirmed their willingness to fully fund the judicial review process to its conclusion and further legal action which the company is currently in the process of advancing.’
Mr Dempster explained that the substantive relief being sought by the company would include a claim for damages against the Home Office – and that the amount would probably be in the ‘multi-millions’.
The Government of Jersey and Deputy Wilson declined to comment.