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what is the law on growing cannabis in the uk

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If you have subscribed to the DBS update service, you should include this information in your licence application.

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

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.

Monday 28 February 2022

If you apply to register on or after Sunday 1 May 2022, it is likely that we will reject your request without substantive consideration. This is because it would not be practical to consider an application and issue a licence for outdoor cultivation before you need to start sowing, and cultivation cannot take place without a licence.

If your company no longer needs a controlled drugs licence you will need to submit a controlled drugs licence return premises closure statement. Even if you continue to trade but no longer handle controlled drugs you will need to submit a statement.

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:

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

Offence Range: Discharge – 10 years’ imprisonment.

Penalties available for cultivation of cannabis

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

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.

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.

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

What is the law on growing cannabis in the uk

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

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 what countries is cannabis use legal?

“Can British Conservatives be as bold as Canadian Liberals? We ought to be. After all, we believe in market forces and the responsible exercise of freedom, regulated as necessary. We should prefer to provide for lawful taxes than preside over increased profits from crime. And we are pragmatists, who change with society and revise our opinions when the facts change” – Former Conservative Leader, William Hague, writing in the Daily Telegraph, 2018.

The Liberal Democrats, declared their support the legalisation of cannabis in March 2016. The Green Party also support the legalization of cannabis.

The debate around cannabis reform

Finally those calling for the reform of cannabis laws, such as the former Conservative leader William Hague, have also pointed to the widespread use of cannabis amongst the population. This, they suggest, undermines the rule of law, and risks criminalizing people who are otherwise law abiding. It is claimed that when a law has ceased to be credible, and police enthusiasm for enforcing it has waned, respect for the law in general is damaged. If a law is not supported or enforced, they argue that it should be disposed with.