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Economic Development’s Delivery Plan for 2023 - Cannabis (FOI)

Economic Development’s Delivery Plan for 2023 - Cannabis (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 10 January 2024.
Prepared internally, no external costs.

​​​Original Request


The Minister for Economic Development’s Delivery Plan for 2023, published in January 2023, included the following: 

Working in conjunction with the Department of Health and Community Services, establish a dedicated team to: 

  • In February we will commission further strategic development work that will assist Jersey to continue to establish itself as a hub of cannabis excellence and a gateway to Europe for international cannabis business and investors
  • In March we will expand the Jersey Cannabis Agency to include broader representation from across Government functions
  • In June we will develop a long-term policy to drive the development of Jersey’s own detailed and specific regulations for the medicinal cannabis industry
  • In June we will undertake a risk assessment of the island’s cannabis sector and to work in collaboration with the Law Officers Department to provide reassurance that a sufficient legislative base exists for the safe and sustainable development of the sector and to determine the best way to achieve this
  • In June we will identify the evolving needs of cannabis operators and investors and the policy areas where Jersey can build a unique competitive advantage to meet these needs.

Plesae advise what progress has been made on each of these issues?


In a response to a written question on 8 February 2021, the Minister for EDTSC stated that:

“an Economic Development Framework for Cannabis Investment in Jersey is under development which is anticipated to be completed in Q2 with an associated communication plan that will specify the roles and responsibilities of the various associated agencies.” 

Please supply a copy of the framework and communication plan. 


The Chief Minister stated, in a response to an oral question on 26 March 2019, in respect of the cannabis industry:

The objective is to have a world-class, highly regulated, system [that] would be implemented to permit local production of cannabis raw materials for supply into the internationally regulated pharmaceutical market. 

What additional legislative and regulatory requirements are needed to help achieve this objective?

Original Response


Hanway Associates were formally engaged in February to advise Jersey on how to maximise the opportunity in the cannabis industry and showcase the jurisdiction as a premier location for cannabis businesses.

The Minister for Health and Social Services is the responsible Minister and prior to considering the expansion of the Jersey Cannabis Agency the Minister asked the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (“ACDM”) for specialist advice. Following receipt of this advice, the Minister has resolved to reconfigure the Agency to include the following members:

a. Chief Pharmacist 

b. Customs and Excise Representative

c. Law Enforcement representative 

The first phase of policy development work effectively began with the commissioning of specialist advice in February. This work is complete and will be used as a reference to inform phase two of the long-term policy that will be finalised in 2024. This will be used to inform a review of relevant legislation by the Minister for Health and Social Services.

The risk assessment has been completed and is now reflected in the Department’s Risk Register.

This work is completed (as above) and is being used a reference for current cannabis policy in development.


This information is exempt Under Article 35 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.


The production of medicinal cannabis is highly regulated in Jersey. Current legislation and regulations permit local production of cannabis raw materials under license for supply into the internationally regulated pharmaceutical market, supported by the UK Home Office.

Article 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

Article 35 is a qualified exemption and, as such, the department for the Economy has conducted a prejudice test as required by law. 

The Department for the Economy has assessed whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in supplying the information is outweighed by the prejudice that would likely result by doing so. It is recognised that there is a public interest in transparency. However, having considered the public interest, the department for the economy has concluded that the public interest in disclosing this information is outweighed by the potential prejudice that would likely result.​

Internal Review Request

I am not satisfied with the response and therefore request a review.

The delivery plan was specific: “In June [2023] we will develop a long-term policy……”This did not mean that the work would only  begin in June.  A long-term policy cannot be effective if it is secret.

One purpose of an “economic development framework” is to help industry participants make informed decisions.  They cannot do this if the framework is secret.  There is no public interest justification for this framework not being public.

Accordingly, I request copies of the two documents [redacted].

Internal Review Response

This review has been completed by two senior staff members of the Government of Jersey, independent of the original decision-making process.
The original response in response to questions 1 and 3 extended beyond the requirements of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 by constructing information and not providing ‘Information held’. 

In respect of question 2, the policy framework is not complete and therefore the policy under development exemption was appropriately applied. As to the communication plan, on balance, it is not considered in the public interest to release a communications plan in respect of a policy that remains under development, as the plan itself remains work in progress. As such the application of Article 35 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 is upheld. 
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