On a surprising change from its former solid anti-cannabis stance, the Church of England has recently announced its intentions of investing in the medicinal cannabis industry.
According to a statement given by the representative of the Church Commissioners (the entity that manages the Church of England’s historic endowment fund) to the press, the Church of England now considers cannabis to be on the same level as other pharmaceuticals, and therefore it now belongs to an industry that is worth investing in.
However, the representative highlights that the Church’s support is specifically towards medicinal and properly licensed cannabis use. The Church of England is still fundamentally against the recreational use of cannabis.
According to its ethical policies, the Church will not invest in companies that generate profit from industries such as alcohol, gambling, pornography, and tobacco, among others. Similarly, businesses that profit from the use of recreational cannabis are also excluded from the Church’s investment intentions.
Edward Mason, Head of Responsible Investment at the Church Commissioners for England, gave a statement to the press explaining the Church’s stance on this matter.
“We [the Church Commissioners] make a distinction between recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis and are content with it being used for medicinal purposes”, Mason says.
According to recent data from Bloomberg, the Church of England’s investment portfolio is currently evaluated in 12.6 billion pounds (around 16 billion US dollars, more than 14 billion euros).
Medicinal cannabis has been legalized in the UK last year, and several advances have already been made in the sector. The country is now witnessing a rapid expansion of cannabis-related businesses, such as hotels, cafes, and medical clinics, and the market is becoming more profitable than ever.
The fact that the Church of England is now willing to invest in this sector, is proof of two undeniable facts: that the market value of medicinal cannabis is far too great to overlook, and that cannabis and its derivatives may have indeed solid medicinal value. Although these are not exactly news, the fact that an entity as respected as the Church of England is now publicly announcing its support paves the way for even further expansion and evolution in the medicinal cannabis sector.