Updated: Jul 12
Hemp is considered a Class B controlled drug and is listed in the Misuse of Drugs Regulation of 2001. Although change is happening and the legislation is becoming more relaxed, if your company or an individual wish to grow hemp legally in the UK under UK law you need to apply for a controlled drugs domestic licence.
A licence ( obtained by applying online on the Home Drugs Licencing website) applies only to industrial use of hemp from the seeds and fibre. The flowers or buds which contain THC (or even traces of THC in low THC plant species such as cannabis Sativa ) cannot be used.
Licences are typically issued with a validity of three growing seasons - so for up to three years. At which point you need to apply again!
What is the legality around selling Full and Broad Spectrum CBD hemp oil in the UK?
Food standards is clamping down on the sale of full spectrum hemp due to THC content.
Currently the law states that a CBD oil must contain less than 0.2 % or 1mg per container of THC.
It is unlikely that many full spectrum oils for consumption will be approved for sale in the UK due to the THC content. Extraction irregularities are commonplace, and the level of THC cannot be adequately controlled. Sample testing of high street CBD oils has shown vast disparages between what’s written on the bottle and the level of CBD and other cannabinoids actually present.
In all likelihood the expectation is that broad spectrum oils and isolates, will pass licencing as these oils have had all THC extracted and only contain CBD and some other minor cannabinoids.
This is good news for the consumer as a more regulated marketplace for oils ensures that oils available are rigorously tested, control is exercised over the seed to plant process and trust in the brand to deliver oils which meet the rigorous standards set by the UK.