Can You Grow Cannabis in the UK?
Growing cannabis in the UK might seem like a legal maze, yet the allure persists for enthusiasts and horticulturists. While recreational use is still a no-go, more people are exploring cannabis cultivation for personal, medicinal, and even industrial reasons.
In this article, we'll dive into the details of cannabis cultivation in the UK, covering legal intricacies, best growth conditions, and key considerations. By grappling with the legal landscape and adopting responsible practices, individuals can venture into cannabis cultivation aligning with both legal requirements and personal goals.
Is Cannabis Legal in the UK?
Cannabis remains classified as a class B drug in the UK, making it illegal to possess, distribute, sell, or grow. Consequently, anyone caught with cannabis faces potential penalties of up to five years' imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.
Producing and supplying a Class B drug carry even more severe consequences, with risks of up to 14 years' imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both. However, there have been changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations in November 2018, allowing for the legal use of medical marijuana under specific circumstances in the UK.
The National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence (NICE) also published guidance in November 2019 on prescribing medical marijuana products, hinting at potential developments in cannabis legalization in the UK.
Growing Cannabis in the UK
In the UK, growing cannabis is legal only with a government-issued commercial license, costing £580, with a further extension costing £326. Growers must prove their plants are solely for commercial purposes, providing details on seeds, THC content, and EU approval.
Despite these restrictions, some people discreetly grow cannabis in the UK for personal use. The likelihood of arrest and prosecution for small-scale cultivation largely depends on the discretion of the local police force. Following certain tips can help minimize the risk of drawing attention to such cultivation activities.
Is It Legal To Grow High THC Weed In the UK?
NO, the license issued by the UK Home Office doesn't cover cannabis plants with high THC levels. Nevertheless, there're growers choosing potent strains like Godfather OG, Bruce Banner, and Girl Scout Cookies for their personal preferences.
Is It Legal To Grow Hemp In the UK?
YES, a commercial license granted by the Home Office allows hemp cultivation in the UK for commercial purposes, within specific limitations though.
The seed used must be an EU-approved strain with less than 0.2% THC content. However, openly growing hemp is still not allowed.
Is Outdoor Cannabis Growing Legal in the UK?
Growing cannabis outdoors in the UK is only permitted with a license, even if it's for medical marijuana purposes.
If you wish to cultivate cannabis, it's advisable to opt for an indoor stealth grow box or grow cabinet to ensure privacy. However, if you still prefer outdoor cultivation, it's better to select concealed areas in the garden or on balconies to minimize the risk of detection.
How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Grow?
Growing 1 or 2 cannabis plants in the UK, if discovered by the police, may result in a caution, depending on local authorities' discretion. Generally, growing fewer than 9 plants is considered a domestic operation, typically leading to minor penalties such as fines or cautions.
What Happens If You Get Caught Growing Marijuanas In The UK?
If caught growing marijuana in the UK, penalties depend on the number of plants. Having fewer than 9 plants could result in minor penalties like fines or cautions.
Surpassing 9 plants may lead to charges as a contraband supplier, classified as a category 4 offense, carrying a penalty of 18 months in custody or community service.
More than 28 plants constitute a category 3 crime with a penalty of one to three years in custody. Cultivating cannabis plants at an industrial scale without a government-approved license incurs a penalty of five years in custody.
Tips on Growing Cannabis Indoors in the UK
Image via Hey abby grower
- Keep the Scale Small: Opt for manageable micro-growing in a limited space for personal use.
- Never Tell Anyone About Your Grow: Keep your cannabis cultivation activities confidential.
- Optimize Yields Smartly: A limited grow space doesn't have to mean compromising on yield. Consider using a hydroponic cannabis grow system or adopting plant training techniques to maximize bud production on the harvest day.
- Use A Filter: Install a carbon filter into your grow system to eliminate the odors of weed plants.
- Never Sell Your Flowers: Minimize legal and security risks by refraining from selling cannabis flowers to others.
- Go for the Guerrilla Growing: When growing cannabis indoors poses heightened risks, consider guerrilla growing outdoors. Opt for secluded locations near a reliable water source, and pick strains resilient to various outdoor conditions such as low temperatures, heavy rain, wind, and limited sunlight.
Medical Marijuanas in the UK
In November 2018, the UK government shook things up by giving the green light for specialist doctors to prescribe medical marijuanas in certain situations. This was a big deal, signaling a shift in how they view cannabis as a legit medical solution. But access to medical marijuanas in the UK is still a bit limited and comes with some conditions.
Now, if you're grappling with specific health issues like chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, or dealing with nausea from chemotherapy and other debilitating ailments where conventional treatments have proven insufficient, you might be in the running for a medical cannabis prescription.
To get your hands on medical marijuanas, patients must consult with a specialist doctor registered with the General Medical Council. They'll dive into your medical history, see what treatments you've tried, and if the stars align, they might just write you a prescription for medicinal cannabis.
Nowadays, the range of available medical cannabis products is expanding. You've got oils, capsules, and even oral sprays to choose from.
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