The Church of England, the largest and most influential religious organization in Britain made an announcement this week. This would imply that the Church of England supports cannabis, albeit medicinally. It is lifting a long-standing ban on medical cannabis to study investing in the fast-growing and potentially extremely profitable industry. The church long opposed interests in so-called “sin stocks.”
The Church of England, the largest and most influential religious organization in Britain made an announcement this week.
This announcement would prove the Church of England supports cannabis, albeit medicinally.
It is lifting a long-standing ban on medical cannabis to study investing in the fast-growing and potentially extremely profitable industry.
The church’s commissioners are responsible for managing the $10 billion in assets of the church. This includes investment portfolios with real estate, cash and interests in a variety of companies that meet ‘ethical and responsible’ criteria.
Church of England supports medical cannabis based on values
Like other organizations with value-based investment funds, the church has long opposed interests in so-called “sin stocks.” These include alcohol and tobacco manufacturers.
However, it was possible to invest in companies that produce and market pharmaceutical medicines. In Great Britain, this now also includes medical cannabis.
Medical cannabis in Great Britain
The UK Department of the Interior enabled doctors to begin writing prescriptions for medical cannabis in the fall of the last century.
However, patient access is still largely theoretical since the drug is not covered in the National Health Service. As such, the illegal market is still the most affordable access for everyone – with the exception of the super-rich.
Like the Financial Times first reported, Church commissioners will consider “for the first time” to invest in companies dealing only with medical cannabis.
“We make a distinction between recreational cannabis and medical cannabis,” said Edward Mason, responsible for investing at the Church, “we are happy that they use it for the right medical purposes.”
What about patients? Mason said the church will express a “formal attitude” about medical cannabis someday soon.
Policy change and why the Church of England supports medical cannabis
In the meantime, as a result of the policy change, the Church can invest in companies such as GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK.
GW is a favorite in the world of cannabis investments and a seller of cannabis-derived drugs approved for use in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
The new policy prevents the church from considering an interest in companies that also focus largely on recreational marijuana.
For example, Canopy Growth Corp. is a listed Canadian cannabis giant that is looking for a larger share of the growing European market.
According to the Financial Times, while the Church of England supports cannabis, it does not invest in a company that earns more than 10% of its income from cannabis products for recreational use.
Cannabis in Great Britain market and growth
As the legal cannabis market grows in size and continues to expand globally, it becomes an increasingly attractive target for regular investors.
This includes many who opposed legalization in previous careers. For example, former US President of the House, John Boehner, is now a multi-millionaire at Acreage Holdings.
Acreage is a cannabis company for which Boehner is a member of the Board of Directors, taken over by Canopy.
According to some estimates, the global cannabis market is already worth more than $10 billion.
The church still needs to publicly identify specific investment goals and make them known to the outside world. This way we can better understand how the Church of England supports cannabis.
(Featured image by Jenny Marvin by Unsplash)
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