Despite many countries relaxing cannabis laws for home growing, cannabis is still classified as a class B drug in the UK and it’s still illegal to cultivate without having a license. The United Kingdom is amongst the biggest exporters of medical cannabis and cannabis supplies in the world and it’s possible to grow legal commercial cannabis but you need to get a license approved by the Home Office.
1. Can You Grow Cannabis In The UK?
As mentioned, yes, you can but only with a commercial license; The cost of the license is around £580, on top of this, growers need to be able to prove that the plants are for commercial purposes and not a personal use and need to provide information on the genetics used, THC percentage and if the products have been approved by the EU.
Despite the illegality, a lot of people are growing cannabis for personal use with discretion because arrest and prosecution depends on each individual case, meaning that growing a small amount of weed will most likely not attract attention if you keep it a secret.
1.1 Can You grow high THC cannabis in the UK?
The license issued by the Home Office does not cover high THC cannabis plants so even if you apply for the license and get approved you won’t be able to grow high THC plants legally. Either way, a lot of people grow high THC strains such as Strawberry Banana Seeds in small quantities for personal use.
1.2 What about high CBD plants?
Well, the license mentioned before also does not cover high CBD cannabis plants, it only covers the harvesting of fibers and sees but not the CBD itself so if you’re looking to grow for personal use, the approach is the same as with THC strains; Keep it a secret and always have a way to prove that it’s for personal use.
1.3 And what about hemp?
The license granted by the Home office allows you to grow hemp legally for commercial purposes but with certain limitations: you cannot grow near a school or public area and the seeds used contain less than 0.2% THC and must be approved by the EU. So even if you can grow hemp, the laws make it quite difficult.
2. How Many Plants Should I Grow For Personal Use?
Well, due to being illegal there’s no exact number of plants you should grow because it depends on how much you consume and how many plants you think are a manageable amount. In general, 9 plants is the maximum you can grow and still be considered for personal use. More than 9 plants can be considered contraband and be charged with a category 4 offense. However, if you only grow 1 or 2 plants, you’ll most likely only get a caution although it may have more serious consequences depending on why and how your plants were discovered.
3. What Can Happen If I Get Caught growing Cannabis In The UK?
If unluckily you get caught growing cannabis plants, the penalty depends on the number of plants and flowers the police find. As mentioned, less than 9 plants could be considered for personal use and you’ll probably get a fine. More than 9 plants can get you charged as a supplier and be charged with a category 4 offense, getting 18 months in custody.
More than 28 plants are considered a category 3 crime and can get you 1 – 3 years in custody. In more serious cases where the police also find large amounts of hashish and weed along with the plants, the police can consider you to be running an operation which is a category 2 offense and can result in 2 – 5 years in custody. And finally, if you have enough material for the police to consider you a commercial producer and you don’t have a license, the penalty starts at 5 years in custody or more, depending on what they find and how much.