Why is there confusion about CBD flowers in the UK?
Sellers and consumers often claim the that CBD flower and CBD bud is legal based on the fact that it has been sourced from ‘EU approved varieties’ and contains ‘less than 0.2% THC’, citing the exemption example given above.
Further confusion arises from Home Office guidance, which states that CBD rich hemp can be legally grown in the UK, providing it is from approved seeds and the end product contains less than 0.2% THC.
However, to grow this hemp, farmers must first obtain a hemp cultivation licence, and even then can only keep the seeds and fibres of the plant.
All other parts of the plant, including the buds and flowers, must be destroyed.
So even CBD flowers grown with a Home Office licence in the UK with less than 0.2% THC would still be considered illegal, and must not be sold online or in retail stores.
To clarify the matter, a prominent cannabis campaigner, Peter Reynolds, wrote to the Home Office, asking them to confirm the law.
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.
Drugs & Firearms Licensing Unit”