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When it comes to buying marijuana seeds, it is absolutely imperative that you are aware of the different rules and regulations which are in place regarding this topic. Indeed, there is no one specific rule for buying marijuana seeds, as the laws vary from country to country. In fact, the regulations regarding the sale and purchase of marijuana seeds can even vary from a state by state basis in some countries, while for others, the rules regarding cannabis seed purchase are a legal grey area which serves to raise more questions than they actually provide answers for!
As such, it is naturally imperative that you spend some time looking into the specific rules and regulations for buying cannabis seeds, and this is just as true for UK customers and sellers as for people buying cannabis seeds in other parts of the world. But what is the UK’s stance on cannabis and cannabis seeds? Can cannabis be legally grown in the UK, and if it can, what rules are in place for seed growers to follow? We will cover all of this and more today in our article on buying marijuana seeds in the UK for 2020.
Current Laws Regarding Cannabis in the UK
First of all, we need to understand the rules and regulations which currently exist regarding the sale, use, and cultivation of cannabis in the UK, as this will prove to be important for how we proceed with the laws of growing cannabis seeds. Now, the laws could naturally change for the better, or the worse, at any time depending on the stance of parliament, so this should be considered before immediately taking the information we provide now as gospel; these facts could change, so always check things again before you start looking into cannabis.
Now, the first thing we need to say here is that, unlike in some other countries, the UK is still behind in terms of cannabis legalization. This means that, with the exception of a few very specific medical cases which have to go through lengthy court and legal processes in order to get approval, it is still 100% illegal to use cannabis in the UK. Cannabis has, in fact, been illegal in the UK since 1923; however, it is worthwhile noting that cannabis is not considered to be a class A drug in the UK, and is rather considered a class B drug, meaning that the UK law regards cannabis as a lower-class drug than in some other countries. This differs from the United States, for example, where cannabis is firmly classed as a schedule 1 drug along with other incredibly powerful drugs such as heroin or cocaine. So, there could be some school for thought that there is hope for the legalization of cannabis in the future potentially, considering that it is regarded as a less toxic and dangerous drug in UK law than other countries consider it to be.
With that being said, the Misuse of Drugs act (which redefined the drug classification system in the UK) actually served to increase the penalties for the usage of cannabis, despite recategorizing cannabis as a less dangerous drug in class B. Therefore, it isn’t such a stretch to say that the UK law is a little misleading when it comes to how bad cannabis actually is considered.
One thing is still very much true though: cannabis use in the UK is illegal, and penalties can be incurred for anyone who is found selling, buying, or using the drug. Furthermore, jail time is also a very real possibility for people buying cannabis or growing it with the intention to sell it on, making the profitability of growing weed in the UK definitely worth considering and not worth the risk! Stay on the right side of the law instead!
How Strict is the UK on Cannabis Cultivation?
You might be wondering at this point – well, I still want to grow cannabis, so how strict is the UK’s laws on cannabis cultivation? Indeed, in some countries, cannabis cultivation – especially if only intended for personal use – is not overly well policed. However, this is absolutely not the case in the UK, and if anything, the laws regarding cannabis cultivation and use are only being upheld more strictly in recent times, making it very difficult for people looking to grow and sell cannabis to get away with doing so!
So, let’s have a quick look at the statistics regarding cannabis use and cultivation in the UK then, and how this has resulted in more arrests and penalties being given out over the years. Now, in 1945 at the end of the second world war, there were only 4 arrests made for cannabis cultivation; this was still two decades after cannabis was made illegal in the country, so the drug being illegal was not a new thing either. However, as time passed by, these numbers steadily climbed. By 1973, over 14,000 arrests were made in the UK as a result of cannabis cultivation – and this was even higher in 1994 when a grand total of over 72,000 arrests were made for cultivating, using, and selling cannabis! This shows just how strict cannabis regulations are in the UK, and demonstrates how it is so hard to get away with growing cannabis in the country.
However, there is the potential for this to change in the future and for the law to be made more lenient for people wishing to grow cannabis in the UK. There is a growing movement in the UK among the populace for cannabis to become a class C drug, which would give it far less regulation than its current status as a class B drug. However, this could still be a long time coming as it was originally proposed all the way back in 1979, with the only very slow progress being made in the meantime.
The Legal Loophole: Cannabis Licenses
On the whole, having any involvement with cannabis (we’ll discuss the specifics of cannabis seeds in a bit) is illegal, however, there are cannabis licenses available which can give an individual the ability to possess, cultivate and use cannabis for a variety of different reasons. These cannabis licenses are not easy things to get hold of, though, and each license not only needs an incredibly good reason if it is to be given out but also costs £580, so it’s not cheap either!
Cannabis licenses are only available for people who have a clean criminal record and allow an individual to grow low THC strains of cannabis. These strains are suitable for medicinal purposes and will not cause the symptoms of being high, as other strains can. These licenses are thus often used by individuals who need medicinal cannabis for their own personal reasons (although obtaining it for this purpose can be a challenge) or otherwise many researchers looking into the topic of cannabis will be able to apply for a cannabis license in order to carry out their work. Industrial hemp is also allowed to be grown by companies who have this specific license, however, even hemp cannot be cultivated if the individual does not hold a license themselves.
Presently, the only company in the UK which grows commercial-scale hemp is GW Pharmaceuticals, who produced 20 tons of hemp a year in order to create a drug known as Sativex – a highly costly product which is often out of bounds for many people, due to the financial strain it would place on their household or the NHS.
Penalties for Buying, Selling, and Possessing Cannabis in the UK
Under the Drug Trafficking Offenses Act, any individuals aged 18 or over can be charged for growing, using, possessing or selling cannabis. This could put you at great risk if you are thinking of doing so! Furthermore, in some situations, it is a legal requirement for institutions and businesses to report suspicions regarding an individual’s potential involvement with cannabis!
Clearly, then, the law is pretty strict in the UK regarding cannabis use in 2020 – but what are the penalties for cannabis use, cultivation, possession, and sale? Let’s look at this now.
First of all, it’s worth considering that there is no one specific sentence when it comes to cannabis and the sentence or penalty that an individual will be given will depend on a number of different factors. Some factors will lessen the severity of the penalty, such as the level of involvement (with those individuals having a lesser involvement incurring lesser penalties) and vice versa. Some of the factors which can impact the penalty that will be given can include:
- Level of involvement in the operation in question
- The criminal history of the individual(s) in question
- Size of the supply in question
These are just a few of the factors that will be considered when a penalty is decided upon, however, they will have the biggest influence. Indeed, as one might expect, someone who is caught in possession of a very small amount of cannabis will suffer far lesser consequences than someone growing it on a large scale for the recreational cannabis black market.
First offenders can be depending on the circumstances, get away with just a warning for their first cannabis-related offense; this written warning is helpful as it will not appear on criminal records bureau checks, nor will it be displayed on the Police National Computer.
However, second offenders will begin to suffer penalties if they have continued with their cannabis use or possession. Second offenders will be subject immediately to receiving a fine of £80 which must be paid in full within 2 weeks of being issued (14 days), and failing to make a payment for this will then result in a mandatory court appearance.
Third offenses and onwards are liable to far more severe penalties, and this should be considered very carefully as these can also include jail time and a court-imposed sentence. This could also result in the offense being recorded on your criminal record, so could have further consequences down the line in terms of employment prospects and the like.
Maximum Offenses for Cannabis Use and Possession
Now, cannabis is only considered to be a class B drug in the UK, and this does impact quite greatly on the amount of jail time and the like an individual will need to serve if they are caught. As a result of this, a jail sentence for cannabis possession can be up to five years in duration, and not more – however, there could be unlimited penalties as well as, or instead of, this jail time.
However, this is usually only applicable in the case of commercial cannabis growing operations and the likes; for the majority of cannabis offenders, who are caught with just a very small amount of cannabis or otherwise in possession of a small number of cannabis plants, the penalties and fines are greatly less than this worst-case scenario.
What About Brexit?
The current cannabis laws in the UK are largely governed by the European Union, however, this will change at some point in the future as a result of the Brexit vote, which saw 51.9% of UK voters voting for the country to leave the UK. However, this could be a negative thing in terms of cannabis supporters and cannabis legalization.
Why is this, then? Well, while individual member countries are of course allowed to come up with their own unique laws regarding drug uses and offenses, the EU has historically encouraged a more lenient approach for drug offenses. However, with the UK making an effort to leave the European Union – regardless of how slow progress seems to be with the negotiations and talks between countries – this could change once the EU is not able to impose these rules.
This could mean that countries within the EU will potentially have more lenient approaches to cannabis use, possession, sale, and cultivation than the UK will have, once it leaves the EU group.
Cannabis Buying and Selling Cannabis Seeds in the UK
So, up until this point, we have been largely discussing the rules and regulations regarding the sale, cultivation, and possession of cannabis itself – however, cannabis seeds are a slightly different case due to the fact that they, themselves, are not psychedelic. In fact, even extremely high THC content strain seeds are legal to buy in the UK, because the seeds themselves will not have this THC content within them; it’s only when the seeds are cultivated that the THC becomes a problem.
This means that buying cannabis seeds, in and of itself, is actually legal to do; however, if you decide to cultivate the cannabis seeds that you have purchased then you will be acting in breach of the law and could if you get caught, be liable for fines or even jail time in accordance with the laws at the time and the severity of your cannabis growing operation, as well as your past experiences with cannabis and getting caught.
So, long story short? Cannabis seeds are totally legal in the UK, even if they are incredibly potent in terms of their THC content. However, if you attempt to cultivate these cannabis seeds, you will be in breach of the law and liable for penalties and potentially jail time. Always be aware of this when buying cannabis seeds in the UK, as you could face a maximum jail time in the worst cases of 5 years, with unlimited fines!
Where to Buy Cannabis Seeds in the UK?
So, we have now clarified that, while cannabis itself is illegal in the UK, the non-psychedelic cannabis seeds are actually legal themselves – so long as they are not cultivated, that is. But where can you source the highest quality cannabis seeds in the UK to add to your cannabis seed collection?
MSNL Seedbank is one of the top choices we recommend for people looking to buy cannabis seeds online in the UK. MSNL offers a range of high-quality cannabis seeds and is well known for providing discrete shipping services and stealthy delivery. This ensures that customer privacy is kept as a top priority, which is important for many people buying cannabis seeds due to the stigma which surrounds doing so! They also accept payment using a wide variety of different payment methods including credit and debit cards, bank transfers, cash, money orders, and Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies.
A Canadian-based seed bank, Crop King Seeds is known globally for offering a range of premium quality strains and seeds. As one of the older seed banks, its reputation has been built up over years of providing excellent customer service and seeds. They admittedly have a lesser seed strain selection than other seedbanks, however, the seeds that they do provide are all of exceptionally high quality and so this should be considered as part of your decision. Like MSNL, they provide discrete shipping and accept payment in numerous different ways include cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, credit and debit cards, bank transfers, and cash payments.
The Future of Cannabis Legalization in the UK
As we’ve already discussed, predicting the future of cannabis legalization in the UK is something that isn’t quite as straightforward as it is for other countries. At present, the UK has made very few changes to its laws in order to allow for cannabis usage, possession, and the like; this is not likely to change in the imminent future, however, there could still be some hope looking a little further down the line.
Indeed, cannabis legalization in the current climate is something that is under a great deal of debate from members of the UK population, with many UK residents beginning to call for cannabis legalization. This new movement largely began in 2015 after a UK resident, James Richard Owen, began an online petition which achieved somewhere in the region of 235,000 signatures and so was discussed in parliament; however, it was eventually struck down by the government at the time.
However, this original step would prove to show how much interest in the British climate there is for legal reform regarding cannabis use, and a poll conducted by Ipsos in 2013 also went to prove that somewhere in the region of half of UK residents are actually in support of cannabis legalization.
The British Government has expressed a disinterest in cannabis legalization for monetary purposes, claiming that the increased revenue generated by cannabis legalization would be offset by increased expenses for the government in the form of police services, healthcare and admin costs. This differs from some US states, which have legalized cannabis on a state level for financial purposes.
So, what is the outlook for the future of cannabis legalization in the UK? Well, with growing pressure on the government (and the creation of a political party, CISTA – Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol), it seems likely that there may be some room for movement in the future if the British population continues to place pressure on legalization of cannabis, at least to some degree for medicinal cannabis. Furthermore, with more and more countries making changes to their cannabis policies, it seems likely that the UK will be at risk of getting left behind if changes are not made, so this may force the British government to consider amending the law to some degree.
Of course, this will all change with Brexit and the lack of EU encouragement toward milder responses to drug offenses may cause changes in the opposite direction, probably on a temporary basis. In fact, if the British government takes a firmer stance on cannabis use after Brexit, this could actually trigger even stronger opinions among the British people to force cannabis legalization to be considered!
In summary, then, we can’t really tell how the future will look for cannabis legalization in the UK – but, with more and more countries globally making the change and legalizing cannabis to some degree, it seems unlikely that the UK would settle with being left behind for the long term.