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 Trades 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.

Regards

Jill Frankham
Senior Compliance Officer
Drugs & Firearms Licensing Unit”

  • Wendy Goodwin

    Dissapointed that Paul Fylnn’s bill didn’t get its second reading but the Government has no intention of letting it go through until GW are ready until they have got the European Medical Board.OK. It is about big business not poorly children or adults who would benefit from this complex medicine. I urge all GP,s, consultants, neurosurgeons, cancer doctors to put in an application for a licece to prescribe cannabis. I give my dogs CBD oil a food supplement from Scoltland already there has been a reduction in my dogs skin tag very close to her eye. I don’t need proof I can see it. The CBD’s are allowing her body to heal itself by giving her Endocannabinoid System time to moderate her immune system. It might have been quicker using an oil with a larger THC content! I don’t want cannabis legalising but decriminalising. Why should I have a licence to grow a couple of cannabis plants but not for my fruit trees that I can turn into alcohol,a far biggers killer and destroyer of lives than cannabis is. Theresa May has used BREXIT as an excuse to her break promises to thousands of others who need it to have the law changed quickly whilst she benefits from her husabands 22% of GW. Yes, Alfie has his for life on NHS ang Jamie will get the same but without the help of others it would not be known about. We need to educate people in schools,colleges,Universities and Medical Schools about the Endocannabinoid System so that they can understand how the cannabis molecules replicate the endognous chemical and make the system work.

  • Cel Loggs

    Some online shops do Vacuumed sealed packaging.

  • 100% sure. The law is absolutely clear. I am adding the text of an email received from the Home Office to the article for further clarification but it’s all in the MoDA 1971 and MoDR 2001

    ” 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.

    Regards

    Jill Frankham
    Senior Compliance Officer
    Drugs & Firearms Licensing Unit”

    • Cel Loggs

      Thanks Peter for the info m8. Back to the black market for now 🙁

  • T. R. Smyth

    “Are being prosecuted” – it would be fascinating to see what a jury would make of this with a well defended defendant.
    Also, could some element of the human rights act be brought in, considering this seems to be the equivalent of possessing some camomile tea.

    • There isn’t any defence! The issue of THC level is irrelevant in law. Its only relevance is in what type of licence you need but if you haven’t got a licence all cannabis is the same and attracts the same penalties.

      • T. R. Smyth

        Given that cannabis is banned on the basis of it being an intoxicating drug. It seems bizarre that prosecutors would seek, or succeed in, prosecutions of people possessing a substance that is essentially free of intoxicants. What about a strain with 0% THC.
        A case like this, with a high profile lawyer, could become a cause celebre that furthers education and debate on the legalisation/decriminalisation of cannabis in general.
        A certain level of THC could become legalised, and a higher level, essentially decriminalised.
        I read that the police are already spending much less time on pursuing low level cannabis possession charges. Considering they barely have the time to investigate burglaries, can you give specific examples of the police forces that are focusing on non toxic flowers ?
        Because clearly these issues need to be brought into the court of public opinion, as well as as possibly a human rights court. Just because a civil servant issues an edict, does this mean it will hold up to the scrutiny of the Human Rights Act ?

  • Conor

    “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.” So if the flower doesnt have seeds or stalk then it isnt classed as cannabis?

    • Under this strand of the law it is the stalk and seeds, once separated from the plant, that are not regarded as cannabis. Growers have been requiured to destroy leaves, flowers, etc remaining

    • MudShark

      Once the flower is removed from the talk then it is classed as cannabis

    • MudShark

      No, once the flower is removed from the stalk and seeds then it becomes cannabis.

  • Hemp tea is ‘derived from’ industrial hemp and therefore, provided it complies with the other criteria, can be an ‘exempt product’.

    I know it’s stupid. I don’t make the law but if you take the flowers and leaves and chop them up it can become legal but unchopped they are classed as the class B drug cannabis and are illegal.

    You may be able to get a licence to import the industrial hemp and process it into tea.

    • Conor

      Interesting, so in theory if i were to wrap the chopped herbal tea in a hemp rizzla and say its packaging for the tea and needs to broken apart and emptied, i can sell what looks like a joint and in theory can be smoked, but market it as something that is not to be smoked.

  • MudShark

    Stupid laws are there to be broken and i will carry on doing just that. Happy toking guys!

  • Nigel Winterbottom

    Firstly, WoW and Secondly Ha Ha Ha pmsl. Right, with that out of the way, lets move on to the opening title …..

    ‘WARNING. CBD Flowers, Buds, Weed, Hash Are NOT Legal In The UK’ he he he yes because you read about it all the time in the papers; Man caught smuggling 1.2 million pounds worth of hemp gets 22 years, ‘The hemp wars in the east end of London’ , ‘Family killed by father in a hemp rage’ , Police arrest man in late night pub stabbing hemp row’, ‘Gang of 5 sentenced to total of 120 years for 50 billion dollar hemp smuggling plot’ ‘Man found guilty of being 10 times the legal hemp limit whilst driving down the M6 – Arrrh the list goes on and on. I’d love to go to court to see one of these hemp prosecutions that are mentioned in the open paragraph and which begs the question:

    Have’nt the police got better things to do, for instance getting the REAL harmful drugs off the streets??? Crack Cocaine, Heroin, MDMA for starters would be good, maybe catching a few paedo’s, rapists and murders along the way would also be handy.

    What next?? Man arrested for growing tomatoes in greenhouse?? but chop the tomatoes up for a curry and it’s a legal curry?? PATHETIC

    When it all comes down to it, it’s pretty simple ‘HEMP’ ain’t a drug and never will be …

    sceanario 1

    Im driving down the road, been smoking the hemp flower allday and all night (in fact I’ve smoked well over 10 grams worth). Get pulled over by the police, they smell the flower arrest me and take me back to the station for a drug test

    Test results for cannabis come in: a big fat NEGATIVE

    sceanario 2

    Im driving down the road, been smoking the cannabis flower allday and all night (in fact I’ve smoked well over 10 grams worth).Get pulled over by the police, they smell the flower arrest me and take me back to the station for a drug test.

    Test results come in: POSITIVE

    Result:
    Charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance
    Banned for 3 years
    ordered to pay £300 court costs
    100 hours community service

    So your saying that THC doesn’t matter ??? I respectfully disagree !!

    • You’ve completely missed the point. All your arguments may well be correct but they are irrelevant to the fact that cannabis is a class B drug irrespective of its THC level. You may well pass a THC test but you won’t beat a possession charge.

      • MudShark

        British law is all about precedent, until someone gets arrested for CBD flower, goes to court and the court makes a ruling then no one knows.

        • The law is crystal clear. Cannabis is is a class B drug. There is a provision for some ‘exempt products’ under MoDA 1971 but raw, unprocessed cannabis flowers do not meet it. It makes no difference whether you call them hemp or what their THC content is.

          CLEAR is aware of at least six prosecutions for possession of ‘hemp’ flowers and at least one retailer is presently under investigation for supply.

          • Christopher Paul Streeter

            You talk about cannabis but have you spoken about industrial hemp? A legally licensed product on sale in the UK and taxed by the UK government? Which is fundamentally what you are writing about?

          • Industrial hemp is merely a term for a group of strains of cannabis that are in the EU common catalogue of agricultural plant species and prodcue a maximum of 0.2% THC in the growing plant.

            Cultivation, possession or supply of industrial hemp carries exactly the same penalties as any other variety of cannabis unless you have a licence.

  • Christopher Paul Streeter

    What did you email them? Did you ask about cannabis levels or industrial hemp? Seem a misleading

  • Christopher Paul Streeter

    And cannabis is no longer as class B as it’s been downgraded.. Like industrial hemp is in process of being upgraded to 1% THC.

    • Thiis completely incorrect information Christopher. No truth in this at all.

  • Peter Kitcatt

    If the 1mg per product is true then surely every 10ml bottle of cbd full spectrum oil with more that 0.1%thc is also illegal? If all this is correct then there’s a hell of a lot of illegal products available right now. No? Am I misinterpreting the info? Also it seema insane that flowers or buds are a no go but grind them up and call them tea and that’s fine?

    • You’re correct! That is UK drugs policy and law for you – insane, irrational and not even fuly understood by those who make it or are supposed to adminster and enforce it.

  • L H

    Could you please tell us which company is being investigated? Probably best for customers to avoid purchasing any products from them in the meantime to be safe. Also, what sentences/penalties have the people receieved who have been arrested for possession? Other people online claik to have had there buds returned to them and i personally saw a company openly selling cbd hemp buds at notting hill carnival last year with the police standing right next to them.

    Thank you.

  • Dez C

    If not already seen, here is the actual correct information regarding hemp flower law https://www.highandpolite.co.uk/cbdnews/are-hemp-flowers-legal

    **Essentially It IS Legal !!**

    Not only that a few shops that I have spoken to direct have had visits from the police, with quantity, only for them to leave without any action, apologising..

    Also a contact of mine had 100kilos HELD in customs for 14 days, they released it.

    Its a shame as I was put off selling this for sometime due to Ctauk warnings going back years.

    Scaremongering one thinks, but for what reason???? Hmmm

    • Personally I’m impressed by the argument that trimming, drying and curing is processing and therefore these products, subject to the 1mg rule, could be regarded as ‘exempt’. That is not the story that comes back to me via the CTA’s direct contact with the Home Office.

      I am also concerned that the reports of enforcement action that we have received have come to nothing and other reports, which I cannot verify, suggest both police and CPS are not enforcing this.

      All I can say at present is that on behalf of CLEAR and its members I am looking at the matter urgently. If the authorities are not acting to enforce a ban on low THC buds then our position and the CTA’s should change to support our members and consumers rather than the authorities.

      • L H

        Any update on clarificafion please Peter?

  • Alex Cubbin

    If people are being prosecuted for using they must have already recieved a street warning and an on the spot fine for possession or fall into the catotgories for aggrevated circumstances.One of these circumstances (according to RELEASE) is “someone considered to be vulnerable”. My concern is that I use these products to alleviate the symptoms of my disability (ie anxiety) but as this disability means I am a vulnerable person, do I not have the right to a street warning and on the spot fine and am I more likely to be convicted?

  • Alex Cubbin

    Also hate to get all english teacher on the fuzz but what Jill Frankham wroite was “Once the separation of the stalk and seeds from the plant has
    occurred it (THE PLANT) will not be defined as cannabis. This also extends to the
    fibre produced from the stalk.”.

  • Shawn Conway

    My body and mind are the inalienable property of myslef. If I want to consume cannabis that is my right. If a person or party tries to tell me what I cannot do with my body then they are claiming ownership of me, slavery is illegal. I am free to do as I wish so as I cause no harm loss or injury to another person or party. As are we all. Unless we are slaves.

    • I think all of us who are cannabis consumers would agree with you but that’s not what this article is about. The point is that the law is so badly drafted, so scientifically ignorant and so vague that no one really knows what’s legal and what isn’t.

      Most importantly, naive consumers are being sold products by unscrupulous retailers and website owners on the basis that they are legal when they’re very probably not!

      • Shawn Conway

        You miss the point sir. Government bodies are breaking common law to inforce statute legislation. But you go ahead tagging along so long as it makes you a material living. I’ll be with the free thinking of us who will ultimately save the world

        • Sorry Shaun but whilst, I repeat, instinctively I would agree with you, your comment is just incredibly naive. An Act of Parliament is overriding law. Common law is, in any case, always subject to challenge in the courts and Parliament is the highest court in the land, even above the Supreme Court.

          In the real world pragmatism rules but in this case you’re also incorrect about which law rules.

  • Omer

    Ok so I need a piece of advice here – bought a few pre rolled CBD buds ( small amount, 8G) , delivered from London to Ireland, and today I got a an email saying that my “DHL is on hold”. Should I be worried? CBD is completely legal in Ireland.

    • CBD may be legal but cannabis isn’t and your “pre rolled CBD buds” are cannabis. I’m sorry but you’ve been badly misled by whoever you bought these from. They are an illegal product.

      Just because there is precious little enforcement going on, it doesn’t mean the law has changed and people are being prosecuted. I’m sorry but these are the facts.

  • Philip Fry

    So if they have a hemp licence, it IS legal? How do you know they don’t have a licence?