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can you grow weed legally in the uk

As well as Wissington and its research facility at Kent Science Park, GW has other sites across the UK and it isn’t the only large producer. Other companies include Sativa Investments, whose own headquarters is in Somerset. In 2019 it announced it was planning a £10m, 7.5-acre greenhouse in rural Wiltshire.

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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.”

Cannabis critics

Look closely and you may think every plant looks the same – their height, the density of leaves and flowers. It’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. To ensure they produce the right qualities for the medicines they help make, these plants are grown in a way that ensures they are all virtually identical.

Can you grow weed legally in the uk

The UK is among many countries that have in recent years legalised the use of cannabis-based medicines for pain relief or to treat conditions from cancer to epilepsy.

The European medical cannabis market was valued at €330m last year, according to Brightfield Group.

Northern Leaf has been awarded a licence to grow cannabis for medical use by the government of Jersey under UK Home Office rules and is preparing to cultivate marijuana in a greenhouse sprawling across 75,000 square feet. It plans to start supplying drugmakers in the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Portugal by the end of this year.

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The Jersey group will be up against established cannabis producers elsewhere in Europe. These include Aurora Cannabis, which has 100,000 sq feet of greenhouses in Denmark, and Tilray and Emmac, which have 160,000 sq feet and 300,000 sq feet respectively in Portugal, according to investment firm Chrystal Capital, which has helped Northern Leaf raise funds.

Northern Leaf, which was founded two years ago and received its permit in December, is the second only company to be granted a UK licence for commercial marijuana cultivation. GW Pharmaceuticals, a US-listed leader in cannabis-based epilepsy medicines that was founded in the UK, was awarded the first permit in 1998.

Northern Leaf, which does not disclose its owners, said it has spent £12.5m in purchasing and refitting real estate and expects to invest another £6m this year. It also aims to double the number of staff from 35 employees.

Mr Dunlop would not be drawn on expected revenues, saying “there is such a variance in price depending on content of THC and CBD [two of the most popular cannabinoids]”.

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:

Offence Range: Discharge – 10 years’ imprisonment.

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

Penalties available for cultivation of cannabis

POCA provides the courts with scope to confiscate the proceeds of a crime where a defendant is shown to have benefited from their criminal conduct.

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.

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

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