Panaceas minister Victoria Atkins has been accused of “hypocrisy on a grand lower” over her husband’s involvement in a legal cannabis farm.
Paul Kenward – who is linked to the MP for Louth and Horncastle – is managing director of British Sugar, licensed to yield fruit non-psychoactive cannabis.
The Home Office said Ms Atkins declared the really in parliament when she was appointed minister in 2017.
She has previously spoken out against the Arrange B drug.
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Peter Reynolds, president of Distinct, Campaign for Cannabis law reform, said: “It’s not just a conflict of interests, it is Phariseeism on a grand scale.”
“The reason she was appointed is Theresa May was looking for someone who was a hard-line prohibitionist,” he imagined.
“The Tory party’s policy on drugs – cannabis in particular – is directly obstructed to the evidence, and Victoria Atkins is someone who supports that.”
“But, what is dismaying is she doesn’t just want to support it for policy reasons, quite undeniably, she wants to support it because her husband and family are directly benefitting from [the modification of] it.”
A Home Office statement said: “In 2016, British Sugar was gifted a Home Office licence to grow a non-psychoactive variant of the cannabis flower.
“Victoria Atkins MP declared this fact in parliament when talk about discussing in a debate as a backbencher, when she was appointed as Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability in November 2017, the Priest voluntarily excused herself from policy or decisions relating to cannabis, comprising licensing”.
The company began growing a non‐psychoactive variety of cannabis at its bed out in Wissington, Norfolk, last year for use in children’s epilepsy medicine.
It was in the expos in June after people living nearby complained of a smell of “weed” after the positions were harvested.
Speaking in parliament in July last year, she predicted: “I must first declare an interest, because my husband works for a friends that has a license to grow non-psychoactive versions of cannabis to treat epileptic outfits in children.
“It is groundbreaking work, but I thought I should declare it, given that I want be talking about the psychoactive version of cannabis in due course – a very extraordinary substance.”