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How cannabis is grown in the USA and the UK
The laws regarding cannabis are quite contradictory in the US. They vary from state to state, so one must be aware of cannabis regulations concerning cultivation before starting to grow it. Personal cannabis cultivation is prohibited even in some states that have medical cannabis programs, so one must be very cautious when it comes to cannabis growing.
In California and Alaska, for instance, it is allowed to cultivate up to six plants for recreational use, whereas in Arizona and Missouri people can cultivate cannabis only for medical purposes. In Hawaii, people who have a ‘329’ card can grow a maximum of 10 mature plants for medical purposes while others are allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants (no more than 3 can be mature) for recreational purposes. The same works for Colorado, no more than 6 plants (3 of which are mature) can be cultivated by an adult. In Massachusetts, each individual is permitted to grow up to 6 plants, but they cannot be visible from the street. In Michigan and Rhode Island, it is permitted to grow up to 12 plants by a person over 21 years old for medical use, whereas in Washington individuals can grow a maximum of six plants. In Nevada, adults can grow up to 6 marijuana plants for personal use only if they live more than 25 miles away from a dispensary. Such states as Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York do not permit growing cannabis at home for any purposes.
Growing cannabis is still illegal in the UK. Home cultivation of cannabis can carry serious penalties that range from community services to 10-year imprisonment. Despite this fact, a 2016 UN report stated that nearly 95 tonnes of cannabis was grown in the UK for medical purposes. According to the statistics, it is almost half of the total world cannabis production. Despite the ban, The Telegraph states that the UK is the largest illegal exporter of cannabis as it produces 67.7% of the total cannabis amount. Moreover, some people try so-called ‘guerilla growing’ which means growing cannabis in the wild. Although cannabis cultivation is illegal in the UK, growing cannabis outdoors becomes more popular.
Benefits of home growing
One of the most significant benefits of home cultivation is quality control. If you buy cannabis at a dispensary, you can’t know for sure what else it may contain. You don’t have information on pesticides, fertilisers, and other chemicals that were used. But if you grow cannabis at home, you are able to control the quality of your final product.
Another advantage of growing your own weed is saving money. Cannabis is quite expensive if you buy it from a dealer, but is significantly cheaper to ‘grow your own’. Although there are initial start up costs, the longer term savings are significant.
The unknown future of cannabis
The legal cannabis model is different all over the world. Today, in times of the COVID19 pandemic, people are talking much more about the necessity of legalising cannabis cultivation at home. In a webinar hosted by NJ Cannabis Insider, some cannabis industry leaders discussed the importance of allowing patients to grow cannabis for medical purposes at home. Due to the coronavirus, it has become much more difficult and risky to get cannabis in legal places. Therefore, people who need medicine don’t have easy access to it. It makes them worried about their health and forces them to look for illegal options. This way, the black market that sells unregulated products is thriving. As people are not allowed to have an alternative and cultivate cannabis at home in accordance with legal regulations, they contribute to the development of the black market. Thus, to maintain a legal cannabis model, home growing should be decriminalised and regulated by governments.
Tia M is Editor and Contributor at AskGrowers
The views expressed in this piece may reflect those of the author but do not necessarily express the views of Volteface as an organisation.