CBD Oil UK Law [Facts for 2019]
CBD oil is currently sweeping the western world, both as a medicine used to treat all manner of different conditions, and as a general mood regulator. However, when most people think of CBD oil, or even any cannabis products in general, they usually think of the USA; after all, nowhere else allows any kind of cannabis products, do they?
Well, it turns out that the CBD debate in the UK has raged for a long time, finally culminating in the legalization of cannabis for the purpose of treating some specific conditions.
What about the upcoming year? What is likely going to change this year for CBD oil?
What is the Current UK Law for Cannabis?
The UK has typically been one of the strictest modern nations against cannabis legalization. Due in part to a typically Conservative-leaning government, as well as a tendency towards isolationism in recent decades, the UK has typically seen cannabis as a grand evil, following closely on the heels of the USA and their Weed Scare campaigns of the 50s and 60s.
However, this has slowly begun to change.
Though first made illegal in 1928, some of the UK’s political parties have begun expressing a desire for totally legalizing the sale, consumption and production of marijuana. It began with the Green Party, a typically libertarian party focused on preserving the ecology and natural habitats of the UK, who first expressed desire for total legalization in 1990.
More recently, the Liberal Democrats, a party that actually recently shared power with the Conservative party in a coalition government, came out in support of marijuana’s legalization. However, many saw this is a shameless way to get back young people’s attention, due to their recent betrayal of a promise to not increase university fees.
Regardless of the reason, cannabis legalization efforts have been slowly spreading. Though the current Conservative party is still adamantly against any and all legalization, with British MP Norman Lamb’s recent proposal to legalize it being shut down in the House of Commons only just before the end of the year.
However, logic has managed to work its way through even Conservative Members of Parliament, as the UK has recently legalized medicinal cannabis for the use to treating two types of epilepsy, as well as spasticity caused by Multiple Sclerosis.
Though limited to only one brand, Sativex, this is the beginning of a gradual shift of awareness and policy towards total legalization.
However, that is entirely about cannabis – what about CBD oil itself?
What About CBD Oil in the UK?
Despite all the anger and argumentativeness from the British Conservative party, CBD oil is actually fully, 100% legal. You can buy CBD oil in high street shops, order it online and generally use it as you please.
The only catch is that any CBD oil you buy has to contain less than 0.2% THC, and it is completely illegal to grow or produce any yourself.
The UK covers this gap in cannabis production by granting special license to grow cannabis for the specific purposes of industrial hemp production, as well as for CBD oil extraction.
These licenses are rarely granted, typically going to friends and connections of those in power. Most infamously, one of the UK drug ministers, Victoria Atkins, has recused herself from any comment or providing any official information about cannabis legalization, leaving the department with no progress towards cannabis research – all this because her husband is the largest legal producer of cannabis in the UK.
The conflicts of interest are startling, but it is simply just the way it is in the UK at the moment.
The CBD oil available in most retail establishments is of sadly quite low intensity, but you can shop at all manner of different CBD oil retailers online, such as Provacan and others, to locate different strengths of CBD oil to help treat whatever condition you might have.
So, we know that CBD oil is legal in the UK, but what about cannabis law in general in the year of 2019?
What is Going to Happen with Cannabis & CBD Oil Laws in 2019?
2019 is going to be an interesting year for cannabis, as the UK’s existence in the world stage and its internal politics are going to change.
This is primarily due to Brexit, the referendum conducted in 2016 on whether or not to leave the European Union.
As the UK is currently getting ready to leave the EU, they are going to need to undergo a complete change of laws, as many of the laws that govern the UK, both in its citizens and in its trade, derive from or are mandated by the EU.
It isn’t just marijuana – they will need to come up with new human rights, new fishing limits and farming tariffs; literally everything is going to change.
This could prove good or bad news for cannabis, as it is difficult to tell how the UK’s political policy will change.
It primarily depends on which party takes power; if the Conservative party remain in control of government (which they will unless a new General Election is called before the current set date of 2022), then it is likely that cannabis will not see much change.
However, if Labour manage to upset the political system and call for a General Election through a no confidence vote in the early weeks of 2019, then it is possible we could see a massive change of government, both in its ministers and its official policy.
The full extent of these effects is difficult to predict, but it could go one of two ways.
Option 1: Cannabis Progresses Towards Legalization & CBD Oil is Able to Be Prescribed
This option will occur if either the government is opposed in 2019, or if the Conservative party simply listens to reason, science, and their own constituents to continue the process of gradual legalization.
Although CBD oil is already legal in the UK, this shift in policy could mean that the NHS is finally able to officially prescribe CBD oil for patients. At present, cannabis medication of any form cannot be recommended to a patient unless it is to treat one of the approved conditions.
If your doctor wants to suggest you to take CBD oil to treat your anxiety, or help deal with arthritis or the like, he needs to do it covertly to ensure he doesn’t get into trouble.
However, if the governmental attitude changes, we could see CBD oil and even, one day, actual cannabis being fully prescribed to treat all manner of different illnesses in the UK.
This is made more likely if the Labour party takes power, possibly in a coalition with the Green or Liberal Democrat party. If this is the case, they might demand that full cannabis legalization be an official government pursuit as a condition of forming a government.
The UK government is a bit confusing in how it operates, but essentially this means that cannabis legalization could the bargaining chip necessary to form a stable government, not unlike what happened a few years ago with the election of Justin Trudeau in Canada.
This is obviously the ideal option, but it is just as likely that the UK could go the other way and change their opinion entirely.
Option 2: The Government Changes Its Mind & Pursues Further Suppression of Cannabis & CBD Oil
If the Conservative party remain in power throughout 2019, which only requires that Brexit goes ahead as planned and no one succeeds in throwing them out through a no confidence vote or a general election, then cannabis laws could either stay the same, or get far worse.
Though it is likely that, in the very least, the UK would simply leave cannabis laws as they are and focus on the realities of Brexit and the legal quagmires that it has created, it is entirely possible that it might get much worse for cannabis.
It is not impossible that the UK government could seek to appease its more right-wing supporters who advocate against cannabis consumption; if this were to happen, the Conservative party might begin to recriminalize cannabis entirely, setting the process towards legalization back many years.
They could even try and repeal the recent medical legalization that occurred in November 2018.
This is definitely the least likely scenario, as the UK would be actively working against the desires of its constituents and official drug reports, but it absolutely not impossible.
With Brexit looming overhead, the actual future of cannabis is anything but certain.
Final Thoughts: How is CBD Oil & Cannabis Going to Fare in 2019?
Ultimately, we have no way of knowing what is going to happen to the legalization efforts of cannabis and CBD oil in 2019.
We know that, for now, CBD oil is legal to buy and use at your own discretion, with actual cannabis still being heavily criminalized. We know that ownership of cannabis growing licenses is fiercely competitive, meaning that there plenty of people willing to fight for the right to control the growth of cannabis themselves.
Unfortunately, with Brexit coming soon, that’s all we can possibly know.
We just have to wait and see what happens – hopefully, at the very least, the UK government continues the current policy of allowing CBD oil for use, as well as the limited use of cannabis as a medicine.
Who knows what the future holds for anything with Brexit coming soon?