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Hemp Licensing. Overgrow the regime.

On the 16th July 2019, we had our hemp licence revoked for producing CBD from the hemp flowers. The UK hemp industry is lagging behind, with mounting concerns towards the hemp licensing regime. It’s time the hemp licensing regime was scrapped and if the government won’t do that then hemp growers will have to go ahead and grow hemp without permission from the Home Office.

Watch the video of the July 2019 hemp crop destruction below.

Hemp Crop Destruction. UK Hemp.

It has been two years since the destruction of our crop.

To stay on the right side of the law (as we always want to do – our livelihoods are built on growing hemp, and we rely on the support of the industry and officials), we had to destroy our beautiful hemp plants growing in the field. We were forced to destroy a perfectly healthy hemp field worth £200,000 as seed and fibre products, which drew international attention on how the UK are regulating hemp. If we were allowed to sell the same field as CBD products  it would have been a £2.4 million loss.

This event, was a damning day for the UK hemp industry. At Hempen, we felt the love and rage from those around the world who were upset by the destruction.

Hempen Co-operative. UK Hemp.
Hemp Licencing Regime UK Hemp.

Due to the UK Hemp licensing regime, our recent hemp licence application has been rejected…for a second year.

This is despite our very best efforts, and legal advice, to follow every request of the Home Office. The application process is complicated, lengthy, judged on a case by case basis, meaning the goal posts can be moved at any moment. The pathway for gaining a hemp licencing is unclear and unsupportive. UK farmers can now only access a hemp licence for industrial seed and fibre production.

All UK CBD is now imported. Hempen was made an example of by the Home Office as a warning to the industry. The message was clear, UK farmers cannot access the CBD market. With our company solely focused on UK hemp production, we have endeavoured to secure a UK hemp licence on our home farm in Oxfordshire, for seed and stalk only. We are successfully partnered with farmers across the UK to continue our production of UK hemp products. Today, every product we organically produce on our farm in Oxfordshire is nearly all UK grown hemp. Our CBD has to be imported from, European neighbours with sensible hemp farming regimes.

International law strongly suggests that industrial hemp should not be a controlled substance.

Two years ago, the World Health Organisation recommended that the United Nations end the scheduling of industrial hemp as an internationally controlled substance as it posed no public health risk. Furthermore, under article 28(2) of the UN’s  1961 Single Convention on Narcotics the whole plant is fully exempted from all the provisions, when used for “industrial” and/or “horticultural” purposes. As such, hemp is not a controlled substance under international law. The UK is a signatory of this convention and yet still classifies industrial hemp as illegal cannabis.

The hemp licencing regime is outdated, not for fit for purpose and is stifling the Green Economy, British Farming and Public Health. We are calling for an end to the industrial hemp licensing regime.

Grow Hemp. UK Hemp Field.

Grow Hemp for the Green Economy

Grow Hemp for British Farming

Grow Hemp for Public Health

Join the campaign to Grow Hemp


Hempen requires more hemp production than the Home Office is willing to dish out. We have adapted our business to every request made by the regime. Yet it’s still not enough for them. We are willing to buy hemp produced by anyone in the UK, as it’s time to overgrow the hemp licencing regime.

Unjustified, archaic hemp licensing regulations.

Licences are regularly issued too late in the growing season for farmers. This year licence applications could not be submitted until January which puts farmers at risk of being left with empty fields, should they be refused. Our partner growers complain of having as many as 4 separate logins and passwords per application. Many farmers are keen to grow hemp for its many benefits to soil health and lucrative end products, however are put off by the process and the associated risks.

The hemp licensing hypocrisy is deafening.

Not only is Medical Cannabis restricted to those who can afford it, UK farmers are cut out of industrial hemp production for the wellbeing aspects of CBD. And not only does hemp provide CBD, but it is one of the most versatile plants out there. It provides sustainable solutions to so many of the world’s problems, including bringing important environmental and economic benefits to UK farmers.

Beautiful feild of hemp growing in South Oxfordshire.

We want to Grow Hemp!

At Hempen home farm in Oxfordshire, we are witnessing our hemp licence applications being continually blocked, as the Home Office rules around industrial hemp threaten the UK hemp and CBD industry as a whole.

We are not the only ones. Farmers are limited in accessing the rights to grow hemp. Despite hundreds of applications, there are only about 20 licensed UK growers, totalling just 2,000 hectares.

It’s a shame this wonder crop is hardly used, or accessible. Especially in times of economic, social and environmental crises.

Hempen’s Co-Founder Patrick Gillett said:

“The UK’s licensing regime has no obvious public benefit and is stifling this emergent green industry at a time when we desperately need jobs which care for our communities and the planet.” 

“If the government won’t get out of the way, then it’s time farmers take direct action to grow this wonder plant without their permission. Hempen needs a bigger supply of organic hemp than we can currently source from farmers who have managed to jump through all the government hoops. There is more demand for organic UK hemp than the Home’s office has licensed.” 

If you are interested in growing hemp or supporting others to grow hemp without a licence, contact us on info@hempen.co.uk

Please share your support for this campaign on your social channels to build up the pressure! Share your stories of why you think hemp should be accessible to all, or how hemp as already helped your life journey. Together we are a movement.

It’s time to #GrowHemp and #OvergrowtheRegime


Support the movement – Donate

We believe hemp to be the most important plant on earth. It promotes many, very different uses that promote a more sustainable world, which is coming ever closer to breaking point. 

We have been on a mission to ‘Co-operatively cultivate hemp solutions that enhance the health of people, community and planet.’ 

Our vision is for a better world, where the full potential of hemp can be readily accessed by all forms of life.

The UK has been slow to take up the great opportunity that hemp provides our species, we are stunted without this plant being freely accessible and useable. As a social enterprise and not-for-profit, Hempen’s profit goes towards increasing hemp growing in the UK because we believe in the power of hemp.

We are a not for profit worker’s co-operative. To make a DONATION to Hempen, click HERE.

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