08 Jul WARNING. CBD Flowers, Buds, Weed, Hash Are NOT Legal In The UK.
This is an extremely serious warning which people need to take seriously. Both CLEAR and the Cannabis Professionals (CannaPro) trade association have independently dealt with several people who are being prosecuted for possession. The law treats these products exactly the same as any other cannabis. It makes no difference what the THC level is, it is a class B drug and the penalty for possession is up to five years in jail and an unlimited fine.
The confusion arises because of the misunderstood idea that the legal limit for THC is a maximum of 0.2%. This is the limit for a low THC cultivation licence for what is defined as industrial hemp – but you still need a licence! Without the licence the law regards industrial hemp exactly the same as the highest THC cannabis that the tabloids would describe as ‘super strength skunk’.
Products ‘derived from’ industrial hemp such as CBD oil or hemp teas can be ‘exempt products’ but there is yet more confusion here. The THC limit in these products is not 0.2% because, self-evidently, when you extract oil from a low THC cannabis plant you concentrate the THC. The limit in these products is 1mg of THC per container. It doesn’t matter how large or small the container is, the limit is 1mg. That limit also applies to the other ‘controlled drug’ found in such products, cannabinol (CBN). ‘Exempt products’ must not contain more than 1mg of THC and/or 1mg of CBN in any single container. The law that defines this is the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. 2.(1)(c).
There are a number of websites offering these products for sale and, notoriously, one particular shop in Portobello Road. Whilst these sellers may well misunderstand the law, ignorance is no defence. It is almost inevitable that sooner or later one or more of these sellers will be prosecuted and go to jail.
An email seeking confirmation of the position from the Home Office was replied to as follows:
“Thank you for your email.
I can confirm that the leaves and flowers of the genus Cannabis are controlled and defined as cannabis as outlined in Section 37(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
“cannabis” (except in the expression “cannabis resin”) means any plant of the genus cannabis or any part of any such plant (by whatever name designated) except that it does not include cannabis resin or any of the following products after separation from the rest of the plant, namely—
(a)mature stalk of any such plant,
(b)fibre produced from mature stalk of any such plant, and
(c)seed of any such plant;”.
Once the separation of the stalk and seeds from the plant has occurred it will not be defined as cannabis. This also extends to the fibre produced from the stalk.
Senior Compliance Officer
Drugs & Firearms Licensing Unit”