JERSEY Hemp has criticised the government after it highlighted the need for “entrepreneurialism and innovation” within a new economic strategy, despite allegedly abandoning the company when it needed help.
The firm – once praised by the current Economic Development Minister as the “ideal” Island business – is currently engaged in a legal battle over a Home Office ruling that forced it to close earlier this year, after civil servants in Whitehall decided Jersey Hemp’s CBD products were illegal.
The case is being closely watched by Britain’s £690 million cannabidiol industry, as the outcome could have major ramifications for the sector.
Jersey Hemp director Craig Dempster has previously stated the company was hung out to dry by the UK and Jersey governments. He has now called out what he sees as the government’s hypocrisy in saying that it is championing sustainable new businesses, but doing the opposite.
He argued that they were being told their product was banned because it contained THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – even though the level had been proven to be within legal parameters – and that Jersey’s government had “deserted” them by enforcing the UK ruling.
The local firm, which has been granted a judicial review in the UK High Court of Justice to challenge the decision, has now criticised the government’s recently-published Delivery Framework for Sustainable Economic Development.
The document, which forms part of the Future Economy Programme, highlights the need for “entrepreneurialism and innovation”, as well as “sustainability” and identifying “diversified niche businesses” – including within the rural sector.
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