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marijuana growing laws uk

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

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.

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

Annual hemp grower statement

Controlled drugs are drugs named in misuse of drugs legislation. Cannabis is a Class B controlled drug listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and in the Misuse of Drugs Designation Order 2015.

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

If you apply to register or apply for a licence after these cut-off dates, we cannot guarantee processing times and we may have to reject your application or registration request.

Licence no longer needed

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.

New wording about how licence will be sent out after payment.

Offence Range: Discharge – 10 years’ imprisonment.

Maximum: 14 years’ imprisonment and/or unlimited fine.

Cultivation is the tending of plants, i.e. watering, feeding, nurturing etc.

Penalties available for cultivation of cannabis

It is unlawful to cultivate any part of a cannabis plant. It is not an offence to supply or possess cannabis seeds, but any action which germinates or cultivates them is an offence.

The severity of the penalty applied in relation to cultivation of cannabis will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. The prosecution consider the size of the operation, the individual’s role in said operation & certain mitigating factors. The Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Offences outlines the range of sentences available for cultivation of cannabis cases:

The reason that an individual would be charged with production instead of cultivation is because production is classed as a ‘trafficking’ offence, which allows the authorities to order a POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) hearing.

A person can only be charged with cultivation or production, not both offences together.

There is more information on this issue in sentencing for drug offences.

Marijuana growing laws uk

The UK public is open to consuming cannabis as a medicine if prescribed to them by their doctor – 76% would be willing to do so, and this level of agreement is fairly consistent across demographic groups. [Source, 2018 Populus poll for Volteface and the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis]

“It is paramount, following the long-awaited acknowledgement that cannabis has medical value; that we stop prosecuting patients who fall outside of the initial criteria for application. Over a million patients in the UK are currently self-medicating with cannabis for a medical condition and it is not in the public interest to have these chronically ill patients living with the threat of prosecution for consuming a medicine that gives them relief from their symptoms. This argument is not about drugs, it is about people taking responsibility for their own health and being allowed to do so”. – Carly Jayne Barton – Deputy Director – United Patients Alliance

In the 2021 London Mayor elections, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced his manifesto with a pledge to set up a drugs commission.

Disagreements between the Government and the ACMD over drugs classification continued, culminating in the dismissal of the ACMD chair, Professor David Nutt, in November 2009, following his frequent public criticisms of the government’s drugs policy.


Following debates in both Houses of Parliament, the current reclassification came into effect on 26th January 2009.

In January 2004, cannabis was downgraded to a class C drug across the country.

For those caught with a small amount of cannabis – typically less than one ounce – police can issue a warning or on-the-spot fine if the possession is deemed for personal use.

The debate around cannabis reform

The 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act was later introduced to provide guidance on controlled drugs, and cannabis was classified as a ‘class B’ drug.

The development of superior alternatives, such as the invention of the syringe for rapid drug inducement and the development of aspirin, led to the reduced use of cannabis in medicine.