To apply, you first need to register as a customer on the controlled drugs licensing system. If your application is successful, you will receive a username and password. You do not need to register again each time you apply.
Monday 3 January 2022
New wording about how licence will be sent out after payment.
Licence no longer needed
Once you have paid, the licence will be sent electronically via email.
Cannabis policy has since been changing around the world. An ever-growing list of countries has legalised it, in some form, for medical use. A number have changed their laws so that cannabis possession (and, in some cases, cultivation for personal use) is no longer a criminal offence. Most significantly, Canada, Uruguay and various US states have legalised not only medical but recreational use too.
In 2020, we launched our second international survey to see how cultivation was being affected by this shifting backdrop. This time we looked at 18 countries, adding France, Georgia, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Uruguay to the original 11, while also running a survey for people in non-participating countries. A global pandemic and national lockdowns had not been part of our planning, but of course we added questions to find out the effects.
There is some interesting variation between countries in the findings. In Italy, more than one-quarter of respondents had started growing since the pandemic started – noticeably above the global average. Meanwhile, one-third of Portuguese respondents cited a shortage of cannabis during COVID-19 as a reason for growing their own.
Keeping up with cannabis
Three-quarters of respondents report that they grow cannabis because they get pleasure from doing so. Nearly half report that they are growing for their own medical use. And while 15% report growing to supply others with cannabis for medical use and 15% supply others for recreational use, our growers are not acting as drug dealers: only 4% reported selling cannabis for profit.
Besides the pandemic, most home growers across the world pointed to other motivations that were in line with our 2012 findings: wanting a product that is healthier and cheaper, while avoiding contact with criminals.
Cannabis was still cultivated and distributed out of the more exotic locations on a large scale, particularly when it came to resin, but a fair amount of production had now moved closer to the demand in a process economists call import substitution.
Myself and a group of like-minded cannabis researchers across Europe, North America and Australasia formed the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium in 2009 to monitor the growth of domestic cultivation and how cannabis markets were evolving.
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.
There is more information on this issue in sentencing for drug offences.
Penalties available for cultivation of cannabis
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.
Offence Range: Discharge – 10 years’ imprisonment.