Guidelines for cannabis licensing (FOI)
Guidelines for cannabis licensing (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 18 August 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
A previous Freedom of Information (FOI) response published in February relating to cannabis licensing guidelines stated that it was hoped that they would be published "within the next two months".
Cannabis licensing guidelines (FOI)
It has now been five months since that FOI response was published and the guidelines and regulations have still not been published, whereas the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man have detailed information available of the process available in the public domain:
Cultivation of cannabis (Gov.gg)
Isle of Man Medicinal Cannabis Sector
When will the Government of Jersey publish the licensing guidelines for the cultivation and / or processing of cannabis and derived products?
The information requested continues to be under review and is currently subject to a Scrutiny Review by the Economic and International Affairs Panel.
Therefore, the information cannot be released at this time. Once the guidelines have been approved, they will be published. It is hoped that this will be soon after the completion of the ongoing Scrutiny Review of the Regulations for the licensing, production and export of Medicinal Cannabis in Jersey.
Article 35 (Formulation and development of policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has therefore been applied.
Article 35 - Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Public interest test
The Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) is withholding the release of the information as it relates to the formulation and development of policy and procedure by the public authority. The regulations for the licensing, production and export of Medicinal Cannabis in Jersey is currently the subject of a Scrutiny Review by the Economic and International Affairs Panel and as such the recommendations and findings of the panel may inform development of the licensing application process and policy.
The following considerations were taken into account:
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place
disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in procedural development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose.
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
in order to best develop policy, officials need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place – discussion of how documentation is presented and provided is considered as integral to policy and procedural development as iterations of documents are demonstrative of the development process
the need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of a project
current and ongoing Scrutiny Review of the process means that policy may develop further and is not yet finalised
disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy and procedure making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future project development across wider Departmental business.