The Church of England, the mother of the international Anglican Communion, led by Queen Elizabeth II, will be changing its investment fund’s rules to allow for investments in medical cannabis, which is now legal in the U.K. under certain circumstances – although actual access remains pretty limited.
The fund in question, the Church Commissioners for England fund, currently manages about £8.3 billion ($10.5 billion) in assets – although the Financial Times reported assets of $16 billion, based on this report. As a closed fund, no new contributions are accepted; the fund currently destines all of its profits to financing the Church’s ongoing expenses.
According to the Financial Times, Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners fund, said the organization makes a clear distinction between medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis, supporting only “proper medicinal purposes” at the time.
Adding to these comments, a spokesperson for the fund told ABC News they will “hold medicinal cannabis to the same standards” as other traditional pharmaceuticals, only investing in “properly licensed” companies with products “regulated for medicinal use.”
This does not mean that cannabis companies with small stakes in recreational plays will not be considered for investment. The threshold, however, was set at 10 percent of total revenue.
Ethical Investing Now Includes Cannabis
It’s all about investing in ethical businesses, “The Church Commissioners Annual Report 2018” explains. In fact, its “focus to be a leader in ethical and responsible investment showed excellent results,” says Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Church Commissioners.
“Our approach involves ethical exclusions; incorporation of environmental, social and governance issues; action on climate change risks and opportunities; engagement and voting; and impact monitoring and impact investments,” the report further elaborates.