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Medicinal cannabis (FOI)

Medicinal cannabis (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 09 October 2017.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


With the health minister agreeing with the findings of the APPG's Barnes Report that cannabis is medicine and has therapeutic properties for many conditions;

When will cannabis be either DE or RE scheduled? The health minister released a statement back in April/May saying he was waiting on a list of approved cannabis products from the MDAC (Misuse of Drugs advisory Council) and would have it by the Autumn, which is in a couple of weeks from this request;

Is the list on time/ready? What is the due date for release of the list?

What products are definitely in the list, definitely not in the list, still under consideration and is the list open to changes either before or after it's given to the minister/States?

Are there to be any changes to the law regarding cultivation, or are we set to become an importing nation?

Which department(s) and members are responsible for the various decisions in my questions?


To be clear, in his Statement of 2 May 2017 to the States Assembly, the Health and Social Services Minister acknowledged that The Barnes Report stated that certain cannabis-based medicinal products may have more potential for medicinal benefit, in certain medical conditions, than was previously believed to be the case. The Barnes Report also stated that cannabis for medical indications should only be made available in strictly controlled circumstances with a quality controlled product and a secure supply chain. In light of this report, Jersey’s Misuse of Drugs Advisory Council (MDAC) recommended to the Minister that he may wish to consider reclassifying some defined cannabis-based products as they are identified, so that where doctors consider it clinically appropriate they can legally prescribe them to patients. The Minister stated his intention to act on this advice.  

There is no intention of ‘descheduling’ or ‘rescheduling’ cannabis per se. It is only certain cannabis-based medicinal products that are likely to be reclassified once they are identified.

The Minister was clear that reclassifying certain cannabis-based products would not make herbal cannabis legal.

Work is still being undertaken on identifying the specific quality controlled products. In addition, we have to be sure that we can access and import these products, a task made more challenging because they remain illegal in other jurisdictions. Decisions have also to be made on the appropriate controls to be put in place regarding the use of these products. Once MDAC has made recommendations in these areas, the Minister will be in a position to consider moving forward with the reclassification of certain named products.

A number of products are being investigated by MDAC, but it would be inappropriate to give further details at this time.

No changes to the law regarding cultivation are planned. As the Minister has stated, cannabis and cannabis resin would remain class B controlled drugs and cannabinol and its derivatives would remain class A controlled drugs. Unauthorised production, manufacture, importation, possession and supply would remain offences with the same penalties as currently.

This means it would still be illegal for individuals to use cannabis for recreational purposes, to grow cannabis, or to import cannabis or cannabis-derived products themselves, or to self-medicate. 

The Minister is being advised by MDAC, which is an independent committee of approximately 20 members established under Law. It works free from political involvement or interference. It provides its advice /recommendations to the Minister who can choose whether to accept them or not. No single individual (or individuals) is responsible for the decisions as any advice from MDAC is a consensus view from the group as a whole.

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