Factors that are taken into consideration when fine value or jail time is being decided on usually include the person’s level of involvement in the cannabis growing or selling operation, the scale of the cannabis growth/possession, and the criminal history of the individual.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, we highly recommend that you take the legal route when it comes to cannabis; though the penalties might not be as strict for cannabis use in the UK as in some other countries, the UK police are very hot on cannabis. As such, there is a pretty good chance you’ll be found out if you try to grow cannabis illegally – indeed, it’s always better to stay on the right side of the law, and after all, there are provisions in place to make growing your own cannabis legal.
If you want to source cannabis seeds legally in the UK, there are a few places where you can buy them. Some UK licensed shops are actually able to sell legal cannabis seeds, and it is also legal to buy cannabis seeds online and have them delivered by mail! As such, if you don’t want to go into a physical cannabis seed store or if there isn’t one local to you – they are still very niche shops – then there are plenty of cannabis seed banks that will ship seeds to the UK for bird seed, fish bait, or collector purposes.
Penalties for Cannabis Use in the UK
It is important to note here that cannabis seeds are actually legal in the UK, since cannabis seeds aren’t classified in quite the same way as cannabis itself. The seeds can be legally purchased for use as bird food, fish bait, or for a collection. However, it is illegal to consume the cannabis seeds and growing the seeds (without an appropriate licence) is also still illegal.
With that being said, the punishment for cannabis use or possession in the UK is generally more lenient than the maximum jail time or fines, and most people – even repeat offenders – will get away with a much shorter jail time.
This differs from many other countries, where exceptions have been allowed for personal cannabis growing on a small scale. However, until the rules change, it is still going to be important for UK residents to stay on the right side of the law – and as such, knowing how to buy cannabis seeds legally in the UK could be of great benefit.
When it comes to first offences, most UK residents will simply be given a warning. However, the penalties for cannabis use and possession after this first offence are usually more serious, with a penalty notice of disorder being handed out and a fine of up to £80. Third time offenders and later will then be liable for imprisonment and this will almost certainly end up on the individual’s criminal record, too. The maximum jail time for cannabis is 5 years, in line with the rules for other Class B drugs; however, it is important to note that there can be an unlimited cash fine as well as this.
You can possess cannabis seeds if you are using it as bird food, fish bait or as a collection item. Consumption of cannabis seeds is prohibited. The question would be, how the authorities determine what you intend to do with the seeds. In event you are caught with the seeds or with marijuana, there are various processes to go through to prove that they were not used for cultivation or consumption.
The first step is to create awareness to customers that they are not allowed to consume or cultivate them. They can only collect them of use them for bird food or fish bait.
Keep in mind, when buying anything cannabis related, check the current local laws since legislation changes often and it may vary depending on your location or where you intend to ship it to.
It is currently legal for UK residents to purchase seeds from UK seed banks. It is also legal to possess cannabis seeds of all strains, yet it is still illegal to grow your own marijuana plants from the seeds purchased.
What about medical marijuana?
For a second offense for possession of cannabis, expect to get a Penalty Notice of Disorder. This means you are subject to an £80 fine to be paid within 14 days. Failure to do so results in a mandated court appearance.
Since 2020, the legal route involved getting a license from the Home Office.