The growth of the U.K. cannabis industry is being hamstrung by legislation initially drafted in response to the 9/11 attacks.

The 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act effectively makes it a criminal offence for U.K. citizen to financially benefit from an activity legal overseas – which is illegal at home. Cannabis industry experts say this is deterring investment with the markets still to catch fire in the way predicted; banks, businesses and investors are wary of breaking the law.

Nick Davis, Chief Executive of London-based law firm Memery Crystal LLP, told CBD Testers at Cannabis Europa: “The Proceeds of Crime Act was never designed to cover what it is currently covering.

The Existing Caveat

“It means that an investment by a U.K. business or citizen into a Canadian company, or any company that is producing or involved in the recreational cannabis space is fine.

“But, if there were to be a dividend or you were to…

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