Why Are UK Medical Cannabis Patients Not Allowed To Grow Their Own Medicine?

Cannabis has been legal since 2018 yet prescription holders aren’t allowed to grow their own medicine. 

We see little reason for this because allowing patients to grow their own cannabis would help improve access, lower costs, and give patients control over their medicine.

So why does the government not let patients grow their own cannabis?

Medical cannabis in the UK

Medical cannabis became legal in the UK in November 2018, following a change in the law. 

Previously, cannabis was classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which meant that it was considered to have no therapeutic value and could not be legally prescribed. 

However, mounting evidence of the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis prompted the UK government to reclassify it as a Schedule 2 controlled substance, allowing it to be prescribed by doctors in certain circumstances. 

This change in the law was also influenced by high-profile cases of children with severe epilepsy who were benefiting from cannabis treatment.

In the UK, medical cannabis is only available on prescription from private clinics (not the NHS) and is subject to strict regulations. 

It is currently used to treat a range of conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Current laws on growing your own in the UK

In the UK, it is illegal for patients to grow their own cannabis for medical use. 

Only licensed producers are allowed to grow cannabis for medical purposes, and patients are only able to access medical cannabis through a prescription from a doctor. 

Patients are not permitted to possess cannabis for medical purposes unless they have a valid prescription and obtain it from a licensed supplier. 

Violating these laws can result in criminal penalties. 

Reasons for no GYO (grow your own)

There are several reasons why the UK government does not allow medical cannabis patients to grow their own cannabis.

One reason is that by requiring patients to obtain their cannabis from licensed producers, the government can ensure that it is subject to quality control and testing.

Allowing patients to grow their own cannabis could potentially lead to abuse of the system and create risks to public health and safety.

Additionally, the government may also have concerns about the potential costs and legal liabilities associated with allowing patients to grow their own cannabis.

Reasons for GYO

There are several reasons why some people argue that medical cannabis patients should be allowed to grow their own medicine:

  1. Access: Allowing patients to grow their own cannabis may make it more accessible, especially for those who live in remote areas and especially with the current problems with the postal system.
  1. Cost: Growing cannabis at home can be less expensive than purchasing it from a licensed producer, especially for patients who require large amounts of cannabis.
  1. Quality control: By growing their own cannabis, patients can have more control over the quality and potency of their medication, as well as the specific strains and ratios of cannabinoids that they use. This can allow them to tailor their treatment to their individual needs and preferences.


There may be other reasons why some people argue that medical cannabis patients should be allowed to grow their own medicine. 

For example, some may argue that it is a matter of personal freedom and autonomy, and that patients should be able to make their own choices about their healthcare and treatment. 

Others may point to the potential environmental benefits of growing cannabis at home, such as reducing the carbon footprint associated with large-scale commercial cultivation. 


Currently, there are no plans to allow UK cannabis patients the freedom to grow their own medicine. 

Which is why one person took it upon themselves to start this petition. It’s sitting at just over 1,300 signatures at the time of writing, with 10,000 needed for it to get a response from the government. 

There are other groups pushing for further reforms of cannabis laws, although the right to grow your own for prescription holders doesn’t seem to be high on the agenda. 


It is difficult to predict the chances of medical cannabis patients being allowed to grow their own medicine in the UK in the future. 

The legal framework surrounding medical cannabis is complex and subject to change, but ultimately any changes to the law would need to go through much deliberation by lawmakers. 

However, the current laws do not permit patients to grow their own cannabis for medical purposes, and it is not clear whether there is enough support for a change in the law at this time. 

It is important for patients and advocates to continue to raise awareness and advocate for reform in order to increase the chances of success. So please sign the petition and share this article. 

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