Hemp has long been grown in the UK for thousands of years and was once considered to be one of the country’s most valuable commodities. However, due to the concerns raised around the plant’s psychoactive properties, the crop was outlawed in 1928.
The ban lasted many years with permission to grow for industrial purposes only and was reinstated as a legal activity in 1993 but only for a few license holders. Nowadays, there remains to be a number of restrictions in growing hemp in the country that has prevented a huge opportunity for the industry to thrive in the UK.
Growing Hemp in the UK
UK-based organizations like the British Hemp Association or the BHA were formed for the purpose of educating the people regarding the importance of hemp and lobbying the government to make changes in the restrictions and laws of growing the crop. The organization was set up to align the rules around hemp as a result of the public’s awareness over the crop.
In the UK, there’s now an incredible change in the public’s opinion about hemp. In fact, almost everyone loves it now. However, growing hemp in the UK remains a small industry, with only an estimated 810 hectares currently under cultivation. This is nothing compared to the 33,000 hectares of the crop that’s being grown all over Europe.
Obtaining a License to Grow Hemp
If you’re thinking of cultivating industrial hemp in the UK, you need to obtain a license from the Home Office. You can apply online by filling out the online application form known as the MD29 and you need to register on the website of Home Office Drugs Licensing.
You should be able to provide the following information along with your contact details:
- A farm map that marks the area where the hemp will be grown
- Field location numbers or grid references
- Hectarage details
- Type of seeds, the content of THC and a confirmation that the seeds are approved by the European Union
You will also be asked to go through a Disclosure Barring Service in order to identify your eligibility for obtaining a license. Furthermore, you will be subjected to a compliance visit although this is usually rare. Applications are generally considered through the assessment of your electronic application.
Is Hemp the Next Big Industry in the UK?
With all the positive changes going on in the hemp industry in the UK, many believe that the opportunities for hemp are going to be huge soon. Experts believe that hemp is going to be the next big industry in the country. There’s also a big possibility that the UK is going to become an industry hub for hemp, producing sustainable bioplastics that will make them the number one supplier in all of Europe and this will result in the creation of more jobs. Hemp is capable of making all these positive changes happen very quickly and easily and many more people would want to get their hands on it.