GROW HEMP CAMPAIGN
ALLOW EVERYONE TO
Help support the Grow Hemp Campaign.
The hemp licensing regime is not fit for purpose and is stifling the green economy, British farming and public health.
Unbelievably, hemp is considered an illegal crop to grow in this country and so in order not to be prosecuted hemp growers have to apply for a licence to cultivate via the Drugs and Firearms Unit at the Home Office.
The current licensing process for hemp cultivation gives the Home Office the power to choose who gets to grow hemp and who doesn’t. There is no appeal process to their decisions and no way of assessing whether there is race, class or gender bias to in their approvals.
We believe everyone should have access to organic hemp to open up its many benefits to us and the land, so how do we get there?
Support the Grow Hemp Campaign, our movement for change, by helping hemp farmers to organise themselves and get their voices heard politically. Let’s change the politics surrounding the hemp plant. Hemp for all!
Make a donation to the Grow Hemp Campaign. Directly fund hemp farmers to self-organise and get their voices heard politically. Change begins here.
As a social enterprise and not-for-profit, Hempen each year increases hemp cultivation in the UK to regenerate the health of the people, our communities and the land.
A FAIRER SYSTEM
WHAT YOU DIRECTLY SUPPORT
Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on the planet and can be used for improving soil health, making bio fabrics, eco-construction, providing a superfood, medicine, beauty products and more. For this reason, everyone should be able to grow hemp freely. Be part of the campaign to Grow Hemp so we can reform the licensing process to operate on a fairer system. A system where more people can grow the plant.
Hemp is key to offering humanity a more restorative and healing path out of the current health, ecological & economic crisis. We must invest in our future. Grow hemp!
Helping farmers get to meetings, transport costs
The hiring of meeting spaces
Kickstart the first hemp farmer lobbing group
Liaising with pro bono legal support
GROW HEMP AIMS
THE MAIN ISSUES
For industrial hemp to be removed from the Misuse of Drugs Act as a controlled substance.
This would mean that hemp would be decriminalised. All parts of the plant could be used, including the leaf and flower. Opening up the growth of this industry to many, supporting the new green economy.
A just and fair system.
For farmers voices to be heard, and have a direct route to navigating policy. For those who are invested in hemp grown on their lands have a say in the regulations that affect their businesses, and are even consulted to find the best practices.
For industrial hemp to be defined as any cannabis with less than1% THC.
The hemp plant is healthier, stronger, more acclimatised to this country at 1% THC. This is a very low amount, and cannot get you high, though it allows many more varieties for farmers to choose from that are more suitable to the land and growing conditions.
1. Licences are regularly issued too late in the growing season for farmers, which puts farmers at risk of being left with empty fields, should they be refused.
2. Our partner growers complain of having as many as 4 separate logins and passwords per application. The application process is complicated, lengthy, judged on a case by case basis, meaning the goal posts can be moved at any moment.
3. 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 pathway for gaining a hemp licencing is unclear and unsupportive.
4. Despite hundreds of applications, in 2022 it was reported that there are only about 20 licensed UK growers, totalling just 2,000 hectares.
5. All UK CBD is imported, even those the UK is the largest consumer of CBD in Europe. Farmers are being cut out of a very lucrative market.
In 2018, 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 Grow Hemp Campaign connects with wider global Cannabis campaigns. As the world begins to recognise this plant’s power, it’s important to understand what is progress is being made internationally.
With a successful licence application, we embarked on three years of cultivating organic hemp, as a not-for-profit worker’s co-operative. Many volunteered to build a community farm, helping the vision of ecological and ethical hemp get into the ground.
We enjoyed some of the most beautiful yields and harvest celebrations, successfully creating a business that sustained our rural livelihoods, helping shepherd this cause into the future.
We applied to renew our licence for another three years to find some rules had changed, farmers could no longer produce for CBD, even though we have the largest market for this wonder superfood in Europe. As you can imagine, we were not happy with this change, we had made connections with many customers who relied on our CBD range and fully understood its value. Though, we accepted this fate, and continued with our crop for seed and fibre production only as we wanted to continue cultivating hemp. We had planted what appeared to be one of our healthiest crops yet.
Mid-growing season, we were finally told after a lack of communication, that our hemp licence was revoked for producing CBD products from previous harvests.
Our joy, hope and innovative research is in this crop alone. We want to cultivate it, understand it more, and be able to experiment with its versatility. Without a hemp crop, our mission was faulted. Currently, partner farms have come forward to work with us so we can continue to produce our home-grown products. We have hopes of cultivating on our own farm once again.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
TO GROW HEMP
CAPTURES MORE CARBON THAN TREES
Hemp Captures More Carbon Than Forests – Industrial hemp soaks up in between 8 to 15 lots of carbon dioxide per hectare of growing, while woodlands commonly record 2 to 6 lots of carbon dioxide per hectare each year. Hemp is an ideal carbon sink! One hectare of industrial hemp has been recorded to absorb 22 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. New research is beginning to identify that when hemp is grown organic, in the ground, in its most healthy form, is when it captures the most carbon. Proving, hemp is the most efficient annual plant for carbon sequestering.
Organic Hemp – Hemp does not require harmful chemical inputs (pesticides/herbicides) to grow strong and well, therefore it’s a great crop for use on organic farms. Conventional farming methods use a lot of toxins and therefore more ecological practices like regenerative organic agriculture is becoming very important to improve the soil quality, the biodiversity in the surrounding area, and have a beneficial environmental impact overall to secure future harvests. Toxins can transfer into your products and have negative effects on the body, just like it does to the soil. So look for certified organic products to improve your health. Organic foods are often more dense and nutrient rich, meaning they are worth the investment. Most of the hemp products available come from outside the UK, often with weaker food protection laws and less traceability of what’s happened in the journey of that product. The demand for organic produce is increasing each year, and customers value trusted organic brands, and prefer locally produced goods. Hempen is a certified organic farm by the Soil Association, and 98.6% of our customers would prefer to buy organic CBD grown and produced locally in the UK!
Building Soil – Growing hemp can actually remove toxins from the soil. Hemp is used for its bioremediation qualities, this essentially means using living things to heal the soil, allowing us to clean and reclaim some of the most polluted lands. Each plant draws up contaminants and stores them. While this use of hemp cannot create food and health products, it can be used to create others useful things such as biofuel. This is another reason why the hemp products you consume should be certified organic. Hemps taproot reaches deeper to find water making it more drought resistant reducing the exposure of sun and wind to the valuable topsoil, helping keep the ground held together and full of life.
Food Sovereignty – Hemp licences are regularly issued too late into the growing season for farmers. This year, licences were issued in February, which puts farmers at risk of having fields left bare and local suppliers without a quality food source too. Hemp licencing issues like this are just one part of our broken food system in general, where community and ethical farms struggle to connect with people local to them. Government restrictions and supermarket monopolies are breading food insecurity. The people, and those who produce our food with care, have to re-connect and regain independence, building community and food resilience. This way, we can further understand where our food is coming from and what issues directly impact our food and its quality. Hemp is a valuable food that should be available freely and locally.
SOCIAL JUSTICE IN LANDWORK
Social Justice in Farming – People who own larger pieces of land in the UK often come from similar backgrounds. Similarly, those who wish to gain a hemp licence need to tick many boxes, hold a certain amount of farming background, which creates barriers of access and reinforces hierarchies on the land. How do we diversify who has the right to cultivate hemp and ultimately profit off it? We should be asking these questions if we want to live in a world where everyone is better off. Just like nature is stronger with diversity, so are we. Hemp has the potential to create a local and green thriving economies, if many can access the right to cultivate.
BOOMING CBD INDUSTRY
The Booming CBD Industry – The UK is the largest CBD market in Europe. The power of this plant is becoming widely known and researched, but who profits from this? CBD is a natural product that is easy to make, however it’s often manipulated becoming synthetic and sold through big pharma not your local farmer (like ourselves). As this product continues to break into the market, larger corporates circle around. It’s time to ensure hemp and CBD products as part of our food network, with ethics and regenerative principles at the heart of it. Food should be produced by your local farmers, including your powerful herbs like hemp and CBD.
Hemp for the Local Economy – Local food is fresh and therefore more nutritious. Whilst supporting local producers, local economies and building a level of understanding of where food is coming from. This is real transparency, in the production of real food. Farm to fork, seed to shelf systems. Not to mention better for the environment with less travel miles and shorter supply chains. Hemp could play a key role in the post-petroleum transition plan.
Our vision is for a healthier world.
A world where hemp grows freely, where everyone has access to its many benefits, and where its power is fully harnessed to solve many of the world’s problems.
Freedom for hemp is symptomatic of a wider societal freedom.
Reviving the ancient wisdom of hemp is our catalyst for change.
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