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growing weed in england

As a licensed industrial hemp grower, you must submit an annual hemp grower statement by 1 May each year.

We consider how much to charge for cancellations case by case.

To apply, you first need to register as a customer on the controlled drugs licensing system. If your application is successful, you will receive a username and password. You do not need to register again each time you apply.

If you cancel your application

If you are a new or existing grower read our hemp factsheet for information on the licensing process for industrial hemp.

Added important date information for industrial hemp licence applications for the 2022 growing season.

This address deals with domestic (UK) controlled substance licenses including precursor chemicals, applications, renewals, compliance visits, thefts and losses, surrender or returning licence, or general enquiries about domestic licensing.

After you apply

Added important date information for industrial hemp licence applications for the 2021 growing season.

We may also ask for our administrative costs to be paid within 10 working days. We can email you extra information about these costs.

Growing weed in england

Sure enough, our preliminary findings suggest that COVID-19 has affected domestic cannabis cultivation around the world. With nearly 5,000 participants at the time of writing, 16% report only becoming involved in cannabis growing since the pandemic. There are 11% of respondents saying that having more time at home was why they were growing, while 8% cite increased cannabis prices during the pandemic as a motivating factor.

In 2020, we launched our second international survey to see how cultivation was being affected by this shifting backdrop. This time we looked at 18 countries, adding France, Georgia, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Uruguay to the original 11, while also running a survey for people in non-participating countries. A global pandemic and national lockdowns had not been part of our planning, but of course we added questions to find out the effects.

Back in the days when “skunk” was mainly associated with Pepé Le Pew and hydroponics was a way of improving cucumbers, most of the UK’s cannabis supply was imported from places such as Morocco and Lebanon. This changed in the past two or three decades in the UK and many other countries as organised criminal gangs set up growing operations closer to home.

Keeping up with cannabis

Lancaster University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK.

Three-quarters of respondents report that they grow cannabis because they get pleasure from doing so. Nearly half report that they are growing for their own medical use. And while 15% report growing to supply others with cannabis for medical use and 15% supply others for recreational use, our growers are not acting as drug dealers: only 4% reported selling cannabis for profit.

Besides the pandemic, most home growers across the world pointed to other motivations that were in line with our 2012 findings: wanting a product that is healthier and cheaper, while avoiding contact with criminals.


But if lockdown has led a significant number of people to start growing their own cannabis, it is also important to note that the vast majority of our participants were growing it already. And while many respondents (18%) reported growing more under lockdown, one in ten said they were growing less or had stopped altogether. Meanwhile, organised crime continues to supply a large chunk of the UK cannabis market.

Since COVID-19 has affected almost every area of life, you would expect it to affect drug use and drug markets. People have been spending more time at home. Social interactions have been limited, including opportunities to take drugs with friends or to obtain them from the usual sources. Meanwhile, national and international drug supply networks have been disrupted.

For some, it’s a price worth paying to cultivate a crop that could have healing benefits as well as financial reward. But Raynes questions whether the large investment in cannabis farming will yield the fortunes some are predicting.

It’s the latter that White plans to grow on a 100-hectare farm in Portugal that he predicts will be the largest cannabis farm in the world.

Some argue that cannabis farming also comes with a toll on the environment. While outdoor growing, which uses natural sunlight and rainwater, is viewed as less harmful, large indoor production facilities come with heavy power and water consumption.

It’s a difference that the British entrepreneur Maximilian White – who is planning his own cannabis farm in Portugal – also points out. “People have to understand the difference between cosmetic CBD and medical CBD,” he says.

The world’s largest cannabis farm

“There’s fortunes being lost in the medical cannabis world,” he says. “There’s fortunes being speculated on it and it probably isn’t going to be as big as they think. There’s a lot of money being thrown at it, but it’s hope money. It’s wish money.”

Unfortunately that is complicated within an amazing new category that’s sprouted in the last few years and further complicated by recreational cannabis. There are different categories and they need to be regulated in different ways.”

“It’s obviously a very, very good entity to get involved in,” he says. But he admits that part of the draw is the added bonus of being part of an industry hailed by many as holding the key to curing a range of ailments.

Cannabis farms

The growth in cannabis farms is a direct response to a swelling market for cannabis products. The emergence of approved and regulated drugs to treat conditions such as epilepsy, along with a gradual relaxing of legislation around both medicinal use – including in the UK in November 2018 – and recreational use in various countries around the world, has contributed to a growing demand for high quality, carefully grown cannabis plants.

“The people who are pushing medical cannabis are treating it as a religion rather than in scientific terms,” he says. “Is it useful? Yes. There’s some drugs approved for certain types of childhood epilepsy and various other things. But does it cure everything? No. Because there’s all these other effects.”