You might be wondering: where can you grow cannabis in Europe? If that's the case, we've got you covered.
No matter where you are in the world, there’s a good chance that someone in your area is growing cannabis.
However, it’s also likely that the laws surrounding the production of cannabis are fuzzy and difficult to define. This is especially true in the United States as well as Europe.
While possessing and selling marijuana is illegal throughout Europe, it’s also decriminalized in many places. So, where can you grow cannabis in Europe? Continue reading, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
Cannabis Policy Models in Europe
All EU Member States consider it to be an offense to possess cannabis for personal use. However, many of these nations don’t allow prison sentences for people who commit minor crimes.
Some countries utilize coffee shops and social clubs as places to distribute cannabis. Unfortunately, the legality of a lot of these institutions isn’t so clear cut. Let’s look at some of the most cannabis-friendly countries in Europe and see how their policies work.
Even though the Netherlands is one of the most progressive countries in Europe when it comes to cannabis policies, the plant still isn’t entirely legal. Technically, it’s still illegal to grow your cannabis here. However, as long as you grow five plants or less, the government won’t consider your case in terms of professional trading.
The government will consider that the plant is designated for personal use and will thus treat the crime similar to possessing a small amount of marijuana. Most likely, if you get into trouble, you will have to stop your growing activities, and give up your plants.
You most likely won’t be prosecuted, and you won’t have to face any legal consequences.
Even if you don’t know much about the cannabis laws in the Netherlands, you’ve probably heard of their coffee shops. In these establishments, cannabis has been sold and consumed since the 1970s. The municipality licenses these shops, and the majority of Dutch municipalities don’t allow them.
While personal possession and selling of cannabis can result in imprisonment under Dutch law, most coffee shops are tolerated as long as they stick to the strict criteria published in a directive of the public prosecutor.
All-in-all, technically it is illegal to grow cannabis in the Netherlands. However, if you grow less than five plants, you likely won’t experience any legal consequences.
As a prominent hemp-manufacturer, Ukraine has very progressive laws when it comes to cultivating and possessing cannabis. So long as it can be proved that there’s no intent to sell the product, a person who is caught growing up to ten cannabis plants will be slapped with just an administrative violation and may be punished with a fine.
Although the cannabis plants will have to be forfeited to the government, no further legal consequences will follow a conviction. These laws make Ukraine an attractive country for independent cannabis growers.
And the fact that the limit goes all the way up to ten plants for production means that individuals will be able to satisfy the needs of even the most excessive smokers out there. And as long as you don’t sell any of your harvested product, you have nothing to worry about.
The Ukrainian government is relatively open-minded and tolerant when it comes to cannabis production.
Several years ago, the Czech Republic ratified laws that reduced the cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use to only a civil offense. If you are caught growing up to five plants or carrying up to ten grams of marijuana, you will only be punished with a fine of CZK 15,000 (around EUR 590).
However, the fines rarely reach that high. Since it’s easy to come by cannabis in the Czech Republic, the government adopted these rules so that law enforcement could focus their attention on more serious drug dealers and traffickers.
This means that individual home-growers can cultivate cannabis for recreational use with very little risk. And the low fines, as well as the five plant limit, mean that everyone can fully cover their needs for personal use without having to worry about financial instability or imprisonment after a conviction.
This model has shown to be fairly effective so far. Law enforcement is now better able to allocate their resources, considering that serious drug offenders could end up spending anywhere between two and eighteen years in prison. These laws work as a way to deter people from dealing drugs and encourage individuals to grow their own.
Italy’s Supreme Court caused quite a stir at the end of 2019 when it declared that it was legal to grow small amounts of cannabis for personal use. The court still hasn’t declared how many plants each individual would be allowed to have until they were committing an offense.
Also, it’s legal to consume medical marijuana in Italy, with some restrictions.
In Spain, the law says that it’s illegal to grow cannabis if it is going to be sold. However, it doesn’t say if it’s illegal to grow for personal use, making the law ambiguous. This means that it is up to each judge on whether the individual has broken the law.
In 2014, the personal use of marijuana on private property became decriminalized. This decriminalization has led to the rise of cannabis social clubs. These clubs are similar to the coffeeshops of the Netherlands.
The laws surrounding cannabis in Belgium are fairly straight forward. Any product that contains THC is illegal. However, every resident is able to grow one cannabis plant in their residence without facing any legal consequences.
The government is able to prosecute anyone who has a large amount of marijuana or grows more than one plant. However, in the city of Antwerp, individuals can be fined with possession of cannabis, no matter how much.
The cannabis laws in Malta are fairly interesting and, at times, contradictory. Possessing cannabis is illegal and can result in arrest. If you have small quantities on you, you can be fined.
Repeat possession offenders may even have to enter into rehab programs. However, despite those strict rules, residents in Malta are allowed to grow one cannabis plant in their homes without facing legal consequences. The yield and size of the plant don’t matter here, so long as it’s only one plant.
If you grow two seedlings, even if the plants are small, will land you a mandatory prison sentence of at least six months. These strange laws are often the subject of criticism, but they don’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.
Armenia has very strict laws against possessing and cultivating cannabis. People caught with cannabis can face long prison sentences. However, there are strains of the cannabis plant that grow naturally in Armenia.
Although the government has dedicated efforts to eradicate the plant, it still grows in abundance in the wild. People who are interested in growing cannabis outdoors may fair well because it can be difficult to link the plants to individual growers.
Although it’s still illegal to possess cannabis in Austria, the country’s laws are relatively progressive and tolerant. The government has recently shifted from punishing offenders to helping them instead. They are no longer prosecuting people who possess small amounts, so long as the offender cooperates with the public health authority to find a solution for each individual.
In Austria, it’s legal to grow cannabis that has less than 0.3 percent THC. This means that you can cultivate industrial hemp and CBD. But marijuana plants won’t pass that 0.3% threshold until they reach the flowering stage.
This means that it’s completely legal to cultivate a marijuana plant during its early stages, which greatly reduces the grower’s risk of facing penalties.
Also, the government only measures how much pure THC is present in the plant. The size and weight of the plant don’t matter here.
If you have less than twenty grams of THC, then the plant is considered to be for personal use. Believe it or not, shops are even allowed to sell cannabis plants, so long as they haven’t’ reached their flowering stages yet.
The countries listed above are usually considered to be the most cannabis-friendly in Europe. However, there are other major nations worth knowing about too.
In the UK, it’s illegal to grow, possess, sell, or distribute cannabis. If you’re caught with cannabis, you could face an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison. If you’re caught with less than one gram, police can either write you a fine on the spot or issue you a warning.
Medical marijuana is legal in the UK. This applies to England, Scotland, and Wales.
France has relatively strict laws when it comes to cannabis cultivation and possession. They don’t even have a medical marijuana program in their country. The laws in France also don’t make a distinction between possession for trafficking and personal use.
Instead, offenders are judged based on how much cannabis they’re caught with. While legal action can be taken against the offender, they can also end up avoiding any punishment or be sent to a rehab program, depending on the prosecutor.
Police are able to issue fines on the spot of €200 to people who are caught with cannabis.
When it comes to growing cannabis plants, it’s still very much illegal. If a person is caught growing cannabis, they could end up facing a maximum of twenty years in prison. They also might have to pay a staggeringly high fine of up to €7.5 million.
Even if the grower only cultivates cannabis for medicinal or personal use, they’re still committing a punishable offense. With that said, punishments of that severity are fairly rare in France. Those punishments are usually reserved for people who are involved in large-scale growing activities.
While it’s legal to buy and possess cannabis seeds in France, it’s still illegal to actually germinate those seeds.
While there is a medical marijuana program in Germany, it’s still illegal to grow and possess cannabis for personal use. German authorities tend to utilize a "treatment before punishment" approach with cannabis offenders. This means that an offender can usually avoid prison time if they agree to undergo treatment.
However, it is still possible to spend up to five years in prison if you’ve been caught growing cannabis. Interestingly enough, Germany is the only country in the European Union that makes it illegal to own cannabis seeds
How to Grow Cannabis on Your Own
While there are a variety of ways to grow cannabis on your own, Grobo offers one of the easiest and simplest ways to do it.
Grobo provides you with your own automated grow box. We use deep water culture, a hydroponic technique, to grow the plants. All you have to do is add your plant, pick a grow recipe in the Grobo mobile app (there are hundreds of strains!), and then let the system do the rest.
It’s important to note that while Grobo reduces the smell of the cannabis plant, it doesn’t eliminate it. With Grobo, you can grow 2-3oz of cannabis every 3-4 months, and you can grow from clones or seeds.
By visiting our YouTube channel, you can browse our many helpful educational videos. And even though we mainly focus on growing cannabis, we can grow other plants as well.
So if you’re looking for an effective way to grow your own plants, look no further than Grobo! Are you interested in learning more? Contact us today and see how we can help you.