Amendments to the Planning and Building Order in relation to medicinal cannabis (FOI)
Amendments to the Planning and Building Order in relation to medicinal cannabis (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 16 February 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
This relates to the medicinal cannabis industry.
A number of questions have been raised by members of the public and States Members as to how some of the development work taken place on some of these sites and the use comply with our current laws.
In a letter dated 31 December 2021, in relation to questions raised the Environment Minister stated that he has directed his officers to prepare an amendment to the Planning and Building (General Development) (Jersey) Order 2011 (GDO) as part of the policy development process.
I would like to know what they are having to amend to GDO to accommodate this Industry?
The Minister has instructed his planning officers to prepare law drafting instructions in relation to potential amendments to the Planning and Building (General Development) (Jersey) Order 2011 (GDO).
This is to ensure that the necessary planning controls are in place in relation to the emerging medicinal cannabis industry.
Further information regarding this can be found in the Environment Minister's response to a States question in January 2022. This is publicly available on the States Assembly website.
OQ.7 / 2022 - Oral Question for Tuesday 18 January 2022 (gov.je)
The law drafting instructions have not yet been finalised and discussions with regard to potential changes to the GDO are still ongoing.
As such, detailed information regarding any potential changes is exempt from release in accordance with Article 35 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as it relates to the formulation and development of policy.
The release of any information at this stage will likely generate misinformed debate. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy and law away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately. Further information regarding the decision to apply this exemption is set out below.
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.
In applying this article, 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 policy 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, law and provide advice to Ministers, 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 legal 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 development
- release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy and law away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately
- premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider departmental business.