Hemp has a long history in the UK, with King Henry VIII making hemp cultivation mandatory by law in 1533. It is legal to grow hemp in the UK, but doing so requires a license issued by the Ministry of the Interior. This is because hemp is classified as a “controlled substance” under the Drug Misuse Act. Currently, UK laws only allow the cultivation of hemp for seeds and stems, and the leaves must be destroyed. The government has been asked to encourage farmers to grow hemp on contaminated land, as it can absorb heavy metals and pollutants from the soil.
Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant, and its seeds, leaves, and flowers are commonly used to make fabrics, clothing, rope, paper, biofuels, soaps, plastics, and even cooking oils. Growing hemp could be very lucrative for farmers due to the increasing pressure on the government to legalize CBD production. In order to grow hemp in the UK, you must apply for a Home Office license to grow hemp for industrial purposes. This license allows you to grow a “controlled substance” as long as it meets certain criteria.
Laws still restrict the concentration of THC in hemp plants, stating that they must contain less than 0.3% THC. Growing hemp requires a lot of work no matter what country it's grown in, but the United Kingdom's outdated and short-sighted regulations save much of the benefits of growing these useful plants. In January 2004, after more than 75 years as a class B drug, cannabis was officially considered a class C drug in the United Kingdom due to evidence linking cannabis use to schizophrenia. This was a severe blow to the reputation of hemp by association. However, despite this setback, more and more people are beginning to recognize the amazing ways in which the cannabis plant (and the CBD derived from it) interact with and sustain the human body. In addition to obtaining a license from the Ministry of Interior, growing hemp requires specialized equipment that can harvest and process it.
Older agricultural equipment may not be able to do this effectively. Despite these obstacles, growing hemp could be very lucrative for farmers if they are able to overcome them.