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is growing cannabis legal in the uk

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Is growing cannabis legal in the uk

Bloomberg reported in November 2017 that the Greek government hoped to put the legislation before parliament by the end of the year, although it has yet to materialise.

The then agriculture minister, Evangelos Apostolou, said growers had already expressed an interest in investing €1.5bn (£1.3bn) into projects to build greenhouse parks for cannabis production in Greece.

Looking beyond Europe, several countries as well as American states have legalised cannabis in the past decade. Uruguay was the first, in 2013. However some pharmacists encountered a “serious hiccup”, as partnerships with US banks “came under threat”, due to the US’s laws on controlled substances, the BBC reported.

Greece has similarly looked at medical cannabis for economic opportunities, seeing the potential financial benefits of legalising marijuana as a partial solution to its economic crisis.

Equality Minister Owen Bonnici, who promoted the bill, said lawmakers had recognised “that the hard-fist approach against cannabis users was disproportionate, unjust and it was rendering a lot of suffering to people who are leading exemplary lives”.

Although there are varying levels of toleration of personal use of the drug, no EU country had legalised cannabis until now, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

So where, and under what circumstances, is weed already legal?

In 2017, then prime minister Alexis Tsipras said he was bringing forward legislation allowing the drug’s use for medical purposes. His successor, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, swiftly granted new licences for growing medical marijuana. The government hope the export business will bring “around €360 million of investment and create up to 2,250 jobs”, reported consultancy firm Prohibition Partners.

Portugal could also be a likely contender to legalise marijuana in the near future. In 2000, the country decriminalised all illicit drugs in an attempt to get to grips with a national heroin crisis. People found using or possessing small quantities of such drugs are sent by police to a “dissuasion commission”, and they may then be fined.