The Island of Jersey is betting big on the cannabis industry to boost the local economy.
"Since 2017 when the rural economy strategy identified hemp and cannabis as an alternative crop, work has been underway to develop the industry," says Senator Lyndon Farnham, Deputy Chief Minister at the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport, and Culture, in a newly released video by the Government of Jersey.
But what are the benefits of the cannabis industry for the Island of Jersey? In the short movie, Senator Farnham explains: "It supports Jersey's economy; cannabis cultivation diversifies the agricultural sector into a higher value crop, reducing its reliance on traditional crops in support of the rural economy strategy."
"It plays to our strength," he continues. "Both medicinal and wellness products require cannabis to be cultivated to a consistent standard. After years of producing other crops to UK supermarket specifications, the production process provides opportunities for high value employment. While other agricultural sectors rely on different types of labor, cannabis requires specialist knowledge."
According to the Senator, Jersey has a very strong position not only because of its agricultural history, but also because how the regulations were set up. "The proceeds of crime law has been adopted to enable investors to have the end-to-end banking services that they need," he explains. "Cannabis will generate revenue for the taxpayer through license fees, through increased income tax by lifting the earnings potential of employees in industry and ancillary sectors. And through a proposed tax rate of 20% on any company cultivating and processing medicinal cannabis.