The Commercialisation Of Cannabis

    By Victor Hamilton

    Commercialisation is seemingly, a dirty word amongst cannabis activists.  Some find it hard to comprehend the concept of a legitimate business making an income from selling cannabis to the general public.

    Many in the cannabis using community believe that the way forward is to give everyone the right to grow cannabis for their own use.  There are positive and negative aspects to this.

    On the positive side it woould mean that someone with an illness for which they use cannabis would be able lawfully to cultivate enough for their own use.  However, not all medicinal users would necessarily want to grow their own or indeed, are physically capable of doing so.  So this opens the door for businesses to develop which supply clean, safe medicinal cannabis for those who cannot provide for themselves.

    The negative aspect of permitting domestic cultivation is that is open to abuse.  There may be a large number of people who would fall to the tempation to make a profit from selling what they have grown.

    Commercialisation is the only workable method through which the legalisation of cannabis will be achieved.

    The millions of cannabis users in Britain need to come to their senses and realise the enormous financial contribution they can make to the population as a whole. We are worth somewhere between £7 billion and £9 billion per year to the exchequer.  That could and should be of vital importance to the economy and the wellbeing of the entire country.  Cannabis users need to get off their backsides, stop going round and round in circles talking to each other and tell our politicians and government what the facts are.

    All of us, whether we use cannabis medicinally or for whatever purpose, can play a huge part in pumping much needed funding into the health service.  We could insist that all of the tax income from a regulated system of cannabis production and supply be ringfenced for the NHS.

    To be honest, if all you cannabis users out there can’t see the the common sense in this, then you are as bad as the government.

    The only practical and viable route to legalisation is through the commercialisation of cannabis.

    The sooner all of us in the cannabis using community can agree on this, the sooner it could become a reality.

    • Peter Reynolds

      Thanks for this contribution Victor.  I think you talk a lot of sense.  It will be interesting to see what reaction your proposals get.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Peter.  I’m expecting a lot of disagrement but let’s hope common sense can come to the fore.

    • FD

      Sounds good to me– even if one is against pharmaceutical monopolies at the very least we might see an end to the demonisation of cannabis.

      Ignorance is the real problem and if commercialisation of cannabis makes it more acceptable to the misinformed masses then so be it.

    • Anonymous

      How about no requirement for a license IF your grow is for personal use (for yourself and no one else). However, anyone caught supplying (even sharing with friends) WITHOUT a valid paid for license, has their whole crop removed and is fined x times the license fee (depending on size of grow).

      At least something to think about I hope.

    • Peter Reynolds

      I think that’s a very valid proposal and one that needs to be considered when we go out to consultation on the next edition of the CLEAR Plan.

    • Anonymous

      “Commercialisation is the only workable method through which the legalisation of cannabis will be achieved.”
      You have a crystal ball I presume?

      Many people brew beer without abusing it …. And yes, that is a valid argument.

      Yes, people should be able to sell it to the general public, people would be able to gain a good reputation for selling excellent produce, much like any other person can by growing vegetables etc.

      At the end of the day, it won’t matter what anyone here thinks or say’s, government will decide what happens….

    • Dan Ford

      I think you really have hit the nail on the head Victor. Like it or not we are living in a capitalist state. The Government and Civil Service think along capitalist lines. They are looking much more likely to go along with legalising Cannabis within their existing framework of licences, taxes, weights and measures, labeling and regulation. Just think of the lovely shiny offices for the new DOCRE, the Department Of Cannabis REgulation. They would LOVE that! I feel that it is MUCH less likely they would go for legalising Cannabis and having no control over it at all.

    • Dan Ford

      Possible fine tuning: still have a licence but a zero-rated fee, that way the Civil Service could still Index, Stamp and File the application, and feel that they are doing something worthwhile.

    • Gavin Murray

      Growing cannabis at home should be treated the same way as home brewing, as there is no conceivable way to enforce a home-grow License :

      Say you have to have a license in order to buy or sell seeds or clones or dried flowers or hash: Unlicensed alternative- you can buy them off the Internet or from friends just like today. 
      And you cannot restrict growers access to horticultural equipment because it’s available in garden centres today. 

      If cannabis is legalised there is no fiscal sense in making large indoor cannabis grows because it is so expensive to do so. Cannabis will be grown in computer controlled glasshouses just like any other high value crop. Indoor growers will not be able to compete on price, quality or volume. 
      There is no need to worry about home growing as it will lose popularity as soon as you can buy your dope in Asda or Sainburys. 

      Forget a home license there is no way to implement it and there will be no need to do so.

    • Anonymous

      I have a few issues with that idea (although perhaps sound in job creation), who would pay the salaries of the people stamping and filing (certainly not the people getting a zero fee license).

      And, how would you police sharing? if everyone has a license, they can all claim it’s their own, and no one can be held responsible. If none of them has a license, they should not be sharing.

      I thought about and suggested my idea after some consideration.

      If a group of people are passing around a joint, one of them HAS to have a license, or the guy/guys holding the drugs (or has the supply), is the guy held responsible.

    • Gavin Murray

      Basically, licensing cannabis growing is the Govt’s current cannabis problem through the looking glass. At the moment the Govt wants to find home growers and prosecute them after legalisation it will be to find them and tax them. 
      The Govt are hardly successful at finding home growers now and there is no way they would want to devote the same spending after legalisation to finding home growers to force them to pay tax.

    • Steve Tanner

      i feel this page is silly… or i am silly? what is the problem with making it 100% legal and letting anybody sell it for profit, so long as they pay tax on what they earn?

      Like a gas fitters needs corgi and to also pay tax on what they earn. a grower could get/buy a licence and then pay tax on what they earn…. cash traders and benifit cheats will be about but thats another issue to fix once this issue is cleared up.

      regarding the NHS… it would not need any more money if it did not waist most of its funds on cancer treatment and cured cancer with cannabis oil insted… WATCH THIS

      only problem i can see is that if everyone grows there own then how will the government get there £7-9billion? it needs to remain a bussiness but the money needs to help the country not the street dealing gangs.

      two types of licence medi and bussiness…. ive just thought maybe a user could grow there own then do some thing like a tax return declairing how much they got and paying a fee, im happy to pay a fair price for a fair grade of cannabis but with it in the black market the price and grade is not fair.

    • Anonymous

      @Steve Tanner: The problem is that cannabis comes in many flavours – ie different strains. Different strains have really quite different effects; cannabis can be spacey and laid back or quite trippy and edgy with everything in between This is because different strains contain different ratios of the active chemicals, especially THC and CBD but quite a few others as well. So if we’re going to have commercial cannabis we would need to know what type it is; it would need to be properly graded.

      Of course, this is one of the arguments some people use against allowing the idea of a commercial supply – we would lose a lot of the possible variety and end up with “standard” strains. To an extent that’s probably true.

      There will always be people who want to grow their own for sure, if only to grow the more exotic strains and my feeling is that it should be treated like homebrewing – ie free to do, but not legal to sell or trade. But I don’t have a problem with a licence scheme either I have to say.

      But the vast majority of consumers don’t want to grow, they want to buy. So the real issue is how to allow a properly regulated commercial trade which provides a product of consistent quality and really is what it says it is on the tin. I don’t think you could do that with a mass of small growers.- Derek (sorry, posted as UKCIA instead of me)

    • Dan Ford

      Hi, CannabisCures,
      Ah, sorry I missed your point earlier, and I do agree that my suggestion would not be workable in that situation.
      However I do feel that many Civil Servants working in the cannabis-prohibition offices will be fearful of losing their jobs once it is legal, but if they know that there will be jobs for them to transfer to under the scheme they will be less resistant to change. A new Department to deal with cannabis regulations, labeling, testing could well be either cost-neutral or money saving when you offset the “peace dividend” gains.

    • Blues Man

      when eventually cannabis is brought under legal control i dont think it would be right or even workable to make a law that only covers cannabis , other substances like alcohol and any new so called legal high that comes along will need to be regulated as well so i think there will be a complete overhaul of the law, any taxes or licence will need to be applied to all if its to right and fair, so if i want cannabis i will not pay more of a tax than i would for the more dangerous and damaging alcohol, and if i want to grow a plant or two i know it will need to be secure in a locked garden or grow room to keep it safe from children,the same as home brew beer or wine, but if i dont need a licence for alcohol i wont stand for one for cannabis .i look forward to the time when cannacoke and other products are for sale in the right place not beside the booze or on the bread counter at tescos. but in a place where adults can be advised as to the best choice for them and a place to socialize for cannabis users and no Kids  so long as there is a proper regulated market i dont mind rules but only when they apply to ALL 

    • Tim Morton

      Myself and two friends have a total of sixty years indoor growing, and we are of one voice, the best weed is grown with love. (Hippy)

    • Steve Tanner

      Thank you for the reply but i know cannabis has 4 or more ways of being classed in the budd form (indica, sative, afganni, ruralis)(sorry i cant spell). these are known to have different THC/CBD levels so the proper grading system is already there and in place (when buying seeds u know what you are getting indica/sativa or even a 75%indica 25%sative cross strain or what ever)

      in holland there is “commercial supply” and it has only made budd better as no one would buy standard grade budd if they can go to the shop and get better. so i disagree with that.

      im very confused about what u want tho because on one hand u say it should be taxed to make £7-9 billion but on the other hand ur saying it should not be sold and no one should pay more than the electric and nutrents. people should be happy to pay for there budd just like there alcohol.

      you say most consumers just want to buy but ive been with mary-jane for 11 years now and i would love to bring up her babes, it is my passion/hobby and if it was not for the law i would. and most of my friends would also do it as a hobby.

    • Anonymous

      Full legalisation & commercialism of cannabis is the only way forwards – provided you can get a licence for personal grows.

      Once big business gets involved in the cannabis market then the chance of a U-turn and the return of prohibition is unlikely – I take this from the Dutch model where it was decriminalised but the entire supply chain is illegal & the fact that the government is tightening the laws and clamping down on the trade.

      Theoretically the home office can issue hemp/cannabis licenses to individuals now and I for one would prefer a home-grow license that would give me a garentee my door won’t get kicked in.

      There’s no way the goverment will allow a “free for all” and decriminalisation is a minefield to regulate & police.

    • Steve Tanner

      cannabis is harmless or even good for u so it should be legal to grow and sell… small bussineses could start up, big companys could add it to there product list, not every will have the skill to grow the good stuff and if they did then no one would be able to sell it because every one would already have there own.

      if people grow there own and stop buying/paying for it then how would it be worth £’s to the government.

      the hard Q is “how can u let someone grow there own and charge them a fee based on how much they grow”? price per light in flower room?

      its not that different to regulating a self employed builder/trader, how can government prove they declair all… (another minefield to regulate & police)

      like Victor said ” Cannabis users need to get off their backsides, stop going round and round in circles talking to each”.
      get it legal then look at the people opperating outside the law and not paying tax. know that the people that do opperate like that are the bad people of the world that need policing anyway and the issue is not cannabis but the human race

    • Steve Tanner

      a mass of small growers would work the same as a mass of self employed people declairing there earnings.

      a small grower would probaly be doing it out of passion as a hobby and to ease the wallet but they would be looking to achive the best they can so no need to worry about standard and they will be able to tell you if its indica or sativa.

      medi users would be told by the doctor what one they need and be able to get it from a mainstream store if there not sure about random joe… if it was legal.

    • Jamie Wilson

      this is refreshing to see. i agree with all the points you’ve made, adding aswell the money that would be saved imprisoning people due to drug crimes, im not sure exactly of the numbers but i can imagine it is alot with estimations at £119,000 for each new convict and £40,000 a year to keep them there. Also it would allow police to concentrate on more pressing issues such as illegal immigration and catching murderers, rapists and paedophilles etc. i really want to get involved in making an active campaign being heard by the media to put pressure on the government to legalise and commercialise, or at the least decriminalise.

    • Dean Mackie

      it should be my right as a human being to grow what i want. I do understand what is being said, and i know the benefits of a tax and regulated system. but theres so much more you can do with this plant, than just to use it for medicinal purposes or if your smoking just to get high. i don’t see it as a win if we are giving our money to the government for a plant that grows naturally upon our planet. however, it would help out our current financial situation.

    • Anonymous

      It would seem commercialisation is only a dirty word for a
      small number of cannabis activists, but with yourself included.

      “The negative aspect of permitting domestic cultivation is that is open to
      abuse. There may be a large number of people who would fall to the tempation to
      make a profit from selling what they have grown.”

      Is that not commercialisation? If it is indeed abuse as you describe what
      evidence have you that a large number of people would fall to the temptation?
      It doesn’t happen now with homebrew so why cannabis? But we do have a large
      number of perfectly legal micro breweries, local beer festivals and great a verity
      of beers thanks to these home brewers.

      The dirty term amongst cannabis activists should be corporate monopoly, which
      of course is a far more likely outcome if we are imposing personal licences,
      and restrictions on the ratios of the active chemicals.

    • Anonymous

      Most people that enjoy a smoke also enjoy sharing. It’s human nature. A license would be unworkable and unenforceable.
      I think this article is in danger of dividing people more than anything else.

    • Jamie Wilson

       @flux5000 but why should we be divided? we all share a common goal, the legalisation of cannabis in the uk is it not? whether through commercialisation, legalisation or whatever, we should not be penalised for an activity less harmful than smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol, both clearly more harmful habits. can we not drop the small details and work to one goal? not having a go by the way haha

    • George Spigz Duggan

      I’m sorry but it would be great until the people running the companies don’t smoke weed therefore they wouldn’t care about the people who use it… it wouldn’t take a long time before they start adding harmful chemicals so they can grow it faster and get more bulk of it do you think cigarettes had all the man made chemicals in when they first started to be made… i think not it should grown by independent people to keep it good quality clean weed not some mass produced crap like everything else is you should be able to grow it and smoke your own personal stuff then if you want to sell it you have to be regulated and pay tax on your profits like any other company you obviously dont see what would happen to weed if it got given to a multi million pound company.

    • Paul

      has it ever occured to you lot maybe they already do pretty well out of cannabis and other drugs the way things are?

      they force the price up with prohibition the dealers/growers create misery on the streets then they arrest them and confiscate as much as they can!?

      they make money directly from seizing assets under POCA…….as well as keeping police in jobs and people locked up it works out pretty well for them id reckon especially with the backhanders they are surely getting from oil/pharma corporations.

      whichever way you look at it the government are causing the misery they know they are

      In its very definition the misuse of drugs act is there to prevent harm and its doing exactly the opposite…………….heard a sick story the other day apparently the new party drug on sale is and this is no lie an exact mix of alloy wheel cleaner watered down or whatever to give you a ‘buzz’ :O seriously now whens this shit going to end if the kids are intent on getting off there face on something surely a proper ecstacy tablet froma regulated supply would be safer and would do less harm!!?

      its true for all drugs its prohibition thats the problem its basically a failed ideology but a very lucrative one that theyre reluctant to change.

      my advice is dont think you need permission from someone to grow your own just do it……….. the most important thing though is dont support prohibition.

      “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control mans’ appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes… A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded.” ? Abraham Lincoln

    • Mark Baker

      Of course we should be pushing the commercial side of things – we live in a capitalist society, which is based on consumption of all commodities.

      Yes, commercialisation will mean you’ll see ‘Marly-lites’ pre-rolled joints next to cigarettes in the shops, but it won’t stop Joe Bloggs growing his special organic, OG Kush x Purple Power. The latter will be more expensive, but it won’t cost half as much as it does currently!

      I enjoy a glass of cider from time to time; sometimes its a Strongbow, sometimes I’ll have a organic, cloudy Scrumpy. The exact same could be possible when it comes to cannabis; sometimes I could buy a pack of pre-rolls from a shop, other times I may go pay more for something special.

      Commercialisation won’t ruin cannabis, it will normalise it and we won’t be classed as criminals for using it.

    • Steve Tanner

      hi paul, has it ever occured to you that what they confiscate is payed for buy drug money that they could put straight in there pocket… rather than paying the police, paying the courts then paying to lock up low threat people.

      prohibitation has put the price up but i dont belive it could get any more expencive than it is now(what i get charged is a crime). so with that said prohibitation has done its job and its now time for them to fully cash in from it.

      people that want to grow and smoke for free need to grow up tho… everyone wants something for free but nothing is free in this life, we dont expect caffien or alcohol for free and most people buy there fruit and veg without complaint.

      think how good budd is and the endless list of ways it could hepl people, suciety, and the world. its got the be worth somthing.

      did you know that the roots of the cannabis plant are strong enough the binde dry and crack soil in 3rd world countrys were its hard to have a good food crop/harvist? alowing them to have a far better crop through better quality soil in the next season, they could then ship it to us… its a win win and then they could get there own HIV/aids clinics up and running and we could hold on to some of the aid money we give them.

    • Steve Tanner

      my pairents dont understand me because they dont understand cannabis.

      the best change would be that people would start to understand it and not over react, familys need not suffer, pairents and there children could both understand it and be open to talk about it.

    • Anonymous

      A big thank you to all who have commented. I have posted a follow up article which goes into more detail about my ideas.

    • Stuart Wyatt

      I understand where you are coming from with your viewpoint Victor, but I also have to take into account that you own the UK patent for a THC patch, and that you also hold directorships in at least 3 cannabis/hemp related companies that would make a fortune if cannabis were legalised.

      You want to make a ton of cash, and I understand that. However, many sick people just want to be well, and to grow their own medicine. Therefore I will oppose you 100% as I would oppose any greedy person with a selfish capitalist interest.

    • Peter Reynolds

      Your only talent and purpose in life Stuart seems to be obnoxious and offensive.

      CLEAR will not tolerate the sort of attitudes and behaviour that you and your chums demonstrate every day.  There is no group of people more selfish and deluded than yours.  You are the best argument I know for cannabis prohibition.

      From an objective point of view I see what I believe are the negative effects of excessive cannabis consumption on your personality and behaviour every time I come across you.

      Therefore, if you wish to abuse people please go elsewhere to do it.  You are so short sighted and lacking in any ability to make an intelligent assessment of Victor’s proposals that you are wasting your own time and ours.

      You’re too selfish to even have considered this but Victor is extremely sick with fibromyalgia, diverticulitis, prostate problems and more but he doesn’t whine and play the victim like you. He has the courage to take a constructive approach and be positive. You could learn a lot from his example and it would benefit you in the end.

    • Anonymous

      If it’s not commercialised, who’s going to grow the cannabis needed for Britain’s estimated 100,000 autistic children?

      You? If so, where’s mine please? 2 grams per day, chop-chop. I don’t want to go to prison, I have autism, please grow it for me and risk prison for me. Thank you.

    • Anonymous

      And you just want to live off the handouts the state provides to you in benefits. Well this greedy, selfish capitalist has had enough of living off benefits. I am quite certain that there are many more than me out there who feel the same way. My ideas at least offer some chance to myself and others to end the misery of living off the state. Each of the business interests that I have registered as companies has the potential to create work for several thousand people, and they offer training and career opportunities for large numbers of young people in this country who have never been in work. I am makeing an offer of hope for these people, something you can’t give them. All you can do is sit on you ass feeling mad at the world and wishing like all the rest of the nohopers out there you had come up with the ideas. It’s people like you that give cannabis users and those that campaign for some form of sensible regulation a bad name. If I was to place an advertisement right at this moment recruiting people to work in any of the companies that I am a director of I am sure the number of applicants would be in the tens of thousands,while you just sit at home feeling mad at the world and cursing everyone for having more of a life than you have. I have lived off sickness benefit for over twenty years. I’ve had enough and im sure the people that I could employ feel the same way. If you or anyone else can come up with a better proposal, let me hear it. My selfish, greedy business interest could make about 100 thousand people in the UK a lot happier too because they would be in well paying full time work. If you can better that offer I’m listening, if not shut up and find something interesting to do with your boring life.