THE City watchdog rebuffed foreign cannabis firms again today amid rising interest in the plant as a business opportunity.
Some entrepreneurs think there are billions to be made in the production of medicinal cannabis and are seeking to raise funds.
The Financial Conduct Authority said today that in “response to queries from cannabis-related companies interested in listing in the UK” it still thinks it cannot approve such floats.
Typically, these will be firms in Canada where the market is well developed seeking a London listing.
The FCA said: “We consider that there remains a risk that the proceeds from overseas medicinal cannabis business may constitute ‘criminal property’ for the purpose of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (PoCA). This includes where the company possesses a licence issued by an overseas medicines or pharmaceuticals licensing authority.”
UK medicinal cannabis companies with correct licences can get a listing.
Proceeds from recreational cannabis “even when they are located in those jurisdictions that have legalised it, are proceeds of crime”, the watchdog noted.
Such firms have struggled to grow their business, since banks have been reluctant to grant them accounts for fear of falling foul of the law.