The Church of England lifts ban on medical marijuana

(Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

One of the United Kingdom’s most influential religious organizations is now putting their support behind medical cannabis.

The Church of England is set to relax a self-imposed ban on medical marijuana and begin investing in legal markets, reports the Financial Times.

The ban was overturned by the Church Commissioners for England, the group in charge of managing the Church of England’s 12.6 billion pound ($16 billion USD) investment portfolio.

Under their new policy, the church will only invest in medicinal forms of cannabis, however. Companies that generate more than ten percent of revenues from recreational sales will remain off-limits.

“We make a distinction between recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis,” said Edward Mason, head of responsible investment at the Church Commissioners, to the Times. “We are content with it being used for proper medicinal purposes.”

“We are happy to invest in medicines,” added Mason.

Cannabis reform advocates praised the church’s decision as a positive milestone for the nascent industry.

“It shows a huge shift in understanding and perspective on what medical cannabis really is and its different applications,” said Hari Guliani of the UK medical cannabis research and advisory firm Grow Biotech, to the Times.

The legal cannabis market was worth almost $11 billion globally in 2018, and is expected to reach at least $50 billion by 2029, according to Jefferies Financial Group equity research.

Oscar Pascual is the editor of Smell the Truth, syndicated on GreenState and SFGATE. Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.