The first licences for commercial cultivation of medicinal cannabis have been issued in Jersey.
The Government of Jersey says the issuing of these licences puts the island at the forefront of the emerging European medicinal cannabis market.
Demand for medicinal cannabis on the continent is up by 60% with Germany and Italy being Europe's largest legal market and with Jersey's close proximity to the European market, the government says it is well places to "take advantage of the imminent growth."
The medicinal cannabis market at present is said be worth around $600m a year. In 2019, the industry attracted €100m in Europe and $3 billion in North America. Much of the future investment is thought to be moving to Europe.
The island has for some time shown its intention to diversify its rural economy towards alternative high value crops, including a responsible, well-regulated medicinal cannabis industry.
These licences represent the birth of a new economic sector in Jersey. It will have an important economic impact, driving high-value economic diversification, creating jobs, encouraging inward investment and generating tax new revenues to support economic recovery.
Senator Farnham has established a specialist cross-governmental team to develop the necessary regulation needed for its production. This has been overseen by the Jersey Cannabis Agency, who then provide licenses to cultivate, possess and supply cannabis for medicinal and research purposes.
20 countries in Europe have approved the use of medical cannabis and according to a report by BDS Analytics and Arcview, medical cannabis is expected to reach US$3.9bn per year by 2025.