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is it illegal to grow weed in uk

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

You may be charged any costs already owed, relating to administration, travel or accommodation arrangements, if:

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

If you cancel your application

Licences for industrial hemp are generally valid for 3 growing seasons. The licence only allows for the industrial use of the seed and fibre, which are non-controlled parts of the hemp plant. The licence does not allow for the use of the flowers or leaves (‘green’ or controlled materials).

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 your company or organisation want to cultivate industrial hemp you need to apply for a controlled drugs domestic licence.

After you apply

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

If you, or anyone named on the application, already has a DBS check in place for drug licensing purpose dated 3 years or older from Security Watchdog you will need to apply for a new DBS check.

Is it illegal to grow weed in uk

The general public is almost twice as likely to support the legalisation of cannabis in the UK than they are to oppose. 59% strongly support or tend to support the legalisation of cannabis, compared to 31% who strongly oppose or tend to oppose. [Source, 2018 Populus poll for Volteface and the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis]

The case made for the status quo
Those opposed to the decriminalisation of cannabis have often lumped ‘soft drugs’ such as cannabis together with ‘hard drugs’ like heroin and cocaine, if not by ascribing the same physiological and social effects to each, then by regarding the soft drugs as a ‘gateway’ to hard drug use.

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith admitted to having previously smoked cannabis, but still reclassified the drug.

Although it is a matter of debate as to the extent with which cannabis use leads to later hard drug abuse, drug dealers are said to rarely discriminate between the varieties of drug, and many fear that the decriminalisation of cannabis will prop up hard drug dealing and associated organised crime.


The Home Office stated that this meant “that senior clinicians will be able to prescribe the medicines to patients with an exceptional clinical need”. The new regulations provided for a definition of cannabis-based medicines and set out that only doctors on the General Medical Council’s specialist register could prescribe these medicines.

Separate to the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, in recent years, a number of countries have moved to decriminalize the recreational use of cannabis.

Cannabis remains illegal to possess, distribute, sell or grow in the UK.

The history of UK cannabis law

In 2018, the former Foreign Secretary and Conservative Party Leader, William Hague, called for a reform in cannabis laws, saying that “the idea that the drug can be driven off the streets and out of people’s lives by the state is nothing short of deluded”.

In 2002, Home Secretary David Blunkett announced that he might permit the medical use of cannabis if clinical trials of the drug were successful.

Is it illegal to grow weed in uk

Personal use

Canada also legalised the drug in October 2018, but the “black market is still vibrant”, The Guardian reported. Retailers have struggled to meet demand, and the quality of the substances on sale is not as high as that from underground sellers, the newspaper continued. Higher prices have also pushed buyers away from legal routes.

In 2017, Lesotho became the first African nation to legalise the growing of medical cannabis. Though recreational use or possession of the drug remains illegal, a medical cannabis producer, MG Health, was granted a licence earlier this year to begin exporting to the EU. “The company is optimistic accreditation will open doors to business with more EU countries and other international markets”, The Guardian reported, bringing significant employment opportunities to the “tiny mountain kingdom”.

Luxembourg has approved but not yet implemented legislation to legalise growing cannabis plants, while Germany's new coalition government has pledged to legalise marijuana consumption in licensed stores.