Thursday 19 February 2015

Sentencing Guidelines for Cultivation of Cannabis, Growing a Class B Drug in the UK

This is a basic sentencing guideline for if you are caught growing cannabis and are summoned to appear in a UK Court.

Cannabis is otherwise known as marijuana, hashish, puff, weed, skunk, sensimelia, pot, soap, ganja and many more - all Class B Drugs Category.

Step 1 - Determine the offender's role then the category of harm.

The offender's role

Leading role: Plays a leading position in organizing production, links to and influence on others, substantial financial gain uses fake business and abuses position of trust.

Significant role: Person Involved in operations at management level by pressure, intimidation or reward and motivated by finance with some awareness of the commercial scale.

Lesser role: Person performs limited functions, engaged by pressure or intimidation, through naivety, no influence on others and very little awareness of commercial scale. If own operation, solely for personal use (considering reasonableness in circumstances)

The category of harm for Cannabis

Category 1

You will be in category 1 if your operation is considered capable of producing industrial quantities for commercial distribution. E.g. a factory, farming size greenhouses or houses dedicated to the growing of cannabis. Look for 'gardeners exploited and trapped in the set up, and networked operation cultivating cannabis over various sites'.

Category 2

You will be in category 2 if your operation is capable of producing significant quantities for commercial use. It is easy to identify the smaller operations that fall into category 2; they will be a room or loft dedicated to the growing and drying of cannabis; more 'cottage industry' than 'factory.'  What is not so easy is to distinguish top end category 2 from a category 1 case; the only difference between the 2 categories is category 1 is defined as the production of 'industrial' quantities as opposed to 'significant' quantities in category 2. 

Category 3

So long as your operation is 28 plants or less with an assumed yield of 40g per plant you will be in category 3.

Category 4

9 plants or less is considered a domestic operation.

It is worth noting that the guideline assumes a yield of 40g a plant. Up to now a plants yield has often been in issue; it may be that the guideline assumption of 40g a plant will become the standard projection in calculating a plants yield.
Step 2 - sentencing range guidelines for Cannabis Class B

Category 1

Leading role: Starting Point: 8 yrs Category Range: 7-10 yrs

Significant role: Starting Point: 5 yrs Category Range: 5-7 yrs

Lesser role: Starting Point: 3 yrs Category Range: 2-5 yrs

Category 2

Leading role: Starting Point: 6 yrs Category Range: 4-8 yrs

Significant role: Starting Point: 4 yrs Category Range: 2-5yrs

Lesser role: Starting Point: 1 yr Category Range: 26w-3 yrs

Category 3

Leading role: Starting Point: 4 yrs Category Range: 2-5 yrs

Significant role: Starting Point: 1 yr Category Range: 26w-3 yrs

Lesser role: Starting Point: Community Service Category Range: Community Service - 26wk

Category 4

Leading role: Starting Point: 1 yr Category Range: Community Service - 3 yrs

Significant role Starting Point: Community Service Category Range: Community Service - 26 wk

Lesser role: Starting Point: Band C fine Category Range: Discharge - Community Service

The sentencing starting point is adjusted up or down by a list of additional aggravating and mitigating factors set out in the guideline. Described as a non exhaustive list it may on occasion be appropriate to move outside the identified category range.

Aggravating Features – Will increase your Sentence if applicable

At this point the prosecution will look at facts surrounding your case and increase your sentence if any of the following conditions apply.

Aggravating factors including previous convictions, Offense committed on bail, likeliness of supply, use of unlawful electricity, evidence of previous growing, attempts to conceal or dispose of evidence, presence of others especially children,  presence of weapons, high potential yield or purity, community impact and breaches of current convictions or license.

Mitigating Features – Will decrease your sentence if applicable

Mitigating features will be looked at to determine if you are of good character and there were circumstances to which you should receive credit.

This will including looking at if there is evidence of involvement due to pressure or naivety, supply of a drug you are addicted to helps,  Mistaken involvement in own actions, weather it is an isolated incident (will not happen again), Low purity, no previous convictions or nothing relevant, offenders vulnerability, remorse for your offense, good character such as owning a business or showing good character in court, steps taken to change (help with addiction), lack of maturity (if you are under 18), mental disorder or learning disability and if you are the sole or primary carer looking after someone else.

Step 3

Consider factors which indicate a reduction such as assistance to the prosecution

Step 4

Reduction for guilty plea

Step 5

Increase if more than one offense or the offender is already serving.

Step 6

Confiscation and ancillary orders; including POCA, forfeiture orders and destruction orders

Step 7

Reasons explanation for sentence – extenuating circumstances count

Step 8

Consider time spent on remand in custody or bail.

Ancillary Orders


Forfeiture orders


  1. I recently got caught growing 65 cannabis plants. What do you think will happen to me?? I have no previous and my set up was quite novice. My girlfriend called the police on me when she caught me cheating on her. This was truely my first offense but i am very worried because i have to much to lose going ot prison.

  2. 65 plants is a grey area but looking at the comments on another blog I would say you will avoid prison time. I would have thought a first offense would likely get you a suspended sentence or a tag. Tag is where you are licenced to stay at home and be in at a certain time.

    I would be pissed at the girlfriend and certainly be glad I left her.

  3. I bought 24 Feminized Exodus Pineapple from OMG Seeds and got busted with 18 fully harvested plants. Just hung up and trimmed the last one when they came in through the door.

    I am not overly worried about what will happen on this occasion. The worst of it is that my door was kicked in and all my buds and equipment are gone.

    I will carry on growing in a few months but I will only be doing 9 plants as now I have a black mark against my name so they will look at that if I get caught again..:-)

    Absolutely Gutted..:-)

    Had an awesome new set up to which has been busted..

    and now I need to buy draw on the street at rip off prices..

  4. A friend of mine has been busted with 28plants in 3 different stages,they also found a phone which suggests he's been growing from the previous year.. He's 43 and has no previous convictions But does have a huge heroin problem. All he has earned has been spent on heroin. Do you think he will go to prison?

  5. If he has no previous convictions and he tells them he will attend drug rehabilitation to fix his problems it wont be prison for 28 plants.

    No previous convictions and saying it was to fund a heroin problem should be fine.

    Worst case tag most likely a suspended sentence but make sure he goes prepared and thinking he is going to prison as they want to scare you. Wear a suit and apologize.

    Post back once you know your results so we know how it went.

  6. I was got caught growing 62 cannabis plants. They were at 2 weeks flowering. What do you think will happen to me? I have no previous and my set up was well made in a garden office. I only did for medical purpose, my wife has Multiple Sclerosis and this first grow was intended to make the oil to relieve her pain and also my knee pain. We never smoked anything it was just to extract the oil. The police knocked my door and told me about a complain about smell so I let they in and told that I was growing for medical purpose(because they gonna anyway), and I was very cooperative, so they took the plants and gear and told me to go to the station in a couple of days for a interview. This was my first offense but i am very worried because i have to much to lose going to prison and also I babysitter my 3 years old daughter during the day wile my wife works. Also I did not still electricity, I was paying as I should. Can I have some advice please!

    1. Sounds to me like you have said all the right things in saying it is all medical use.

      Law in the UK is very relaxed as we are getting ever closer to legality now.

      It is my understanding that so long as it is personal use and not connected to criminal enterprise all will be fine.

      The main thing they do not want is organised crime.

      Obviously it in category 2 which says sentence will be start at 26 weeks to 3 years in prison which is worrying.

      In your case i'm quite certain you will get maximum browny points as it is to support medical use and then it will depend on your character and criminal history.

      If it is first offence makes a big difference.

      if you are selling the produce makes a difference.

      make sure you take the rehabilitation offered as they like this.

      I would say the most likely outcome would be something like a 12 month sentence but suspended for 2 years meaning if you are caught again in the following 2 years you will serve the time.

      Big bummer as you wont be able to grow again but i would be pretty sure no prison will come of this now.

      Solicitor will scare you as they always do and the court judge will have you pooping in your underwear but i think the end result won't be so bad.

      Dress well for court, say you are sorry and lay on the sad stories and all should be okay.

      Good Luck.

  7. Hi i need advice please my partner has been arrested on suspicion of cannabis production that occurred over 4 years ago ,he lived in a different area but moved and someone else took over his tenancy but in that time the property was raided and around d 90 plants were found but as my partners name was on tenant he has been arrested. He knew nothing at all about this but has been advised to get a solicitor..he has no previous drug convictions but some for violence many years ago ...what will happen to him please..any advice welcome

    1. I would say no comment and so long as he is not connected to it will be fine.

      They need solid evidence for a real cannabis cultivation conviction.

      If he is not caught in the house, with the weed or connected to the selling etc there is no possible way he can be convicted.

      Is worrying for sure, but no way they can convict him if he is not personally caught.

  8. MotherfucK the system. I cannot believe some of these stories im hearing. Take a stand my fellow comrades. Never let a police man or the court threaten you unless they are educated on cannabis; it's uses and cannabis laws. Learn about the history of cannabis and Make each officer feel guilty if they dare question why you're growing or smoking. Trust me when I say it works. I have never allowed a fed to show his authority on me unless they're more educated on the matter in hand. When it comes to cannabis they know nothing but to enforce laws, but we know. So let them know. Tell them they'll go to hell if it need be. Don't back down, ever. Peace.

  9. Currently growing 16 plants. Not got a criminal record. Got x4 1000w lights. Anyone think i will get the jail if i was caught?

  10. My cousin had a cocaine problem, drew up a huge debt and was roped into growing in a house for some dealers. For some yrs he did this whilst paying off the substantial debt. The main dealer had a shop front to grow and supply larger quantities. When it was raided they found months of video footage from a cctv cam. One clip shows my cuz bringing back grow gear covered in taurpolin another shows him weighing with scales one day when he went round (as hes known these ppl all his life and considers them friends). He was in court recently and hes been told to expect 5-7 years. Any advice????

  11. Caught with 25 Plants in UK.

    Wasnt taken to Police Station
    Cops commended me on "not stealing electricity"
    Cops were legit nice to me and friendly.
    cops even told me "Victimless crime"

    went to Police Station next day

    Was told "your not under arrest can leave any time"

    Admitted to personal + some small sales to cover costs of Electricity, soil, seeds.


    Was told "no bail or conditions" etc.
    "Expect a summons through the post"
    however they also said "will consider a caution, maybe"

    They have my phone but nothing (too bad) on there i dont think.

    What do you think will happen next?
    - im bricking it a bit tbf.



    1. I would say well done lol .

    2. That is a top result, basically saying it is very near legal with 25 cannabis plants.

  12. Had 6 small plants (about 7 weeks old) went out this morning and iv come back home and they have desyroyed my babeis, that were just on the windowsill, didnt even hace any equipment set up yet and they have arresed my 54 year old mother for it. Just told tuem in the ohine that it was mine not hers but they seemed uninterested

  13. Seems like there is some variation in how police deal with it accross the country, but at least its moving into a more free approach slowly.

  14. Here in Russia things are very different..!

    I am living in Moscow and one of my friends recently was growing 3 plants in his flat.

    The neighbours called the police as they could smell the plants.

    He got 5 years for 3 cannabis plants.

    With out law he will not get out any time sooner than 5 years also.

    It is very crazy how law can be so different in different countries.

  15. Just stumbled across this blog as I'm a little worried about going to court.

    Got busted with 45 plants under 5 lights at around week 7 of flowering. I fell out with a guy who i helped out big time and gave a place to stay as he was living on a fishing lake. I know he grassed me up as when the police came they were looking for crack (which i don't smoke) he is the only person i know who smokes crack so it seems to big a coincidence not to be him.

    I said no comment from start to finish as i was nervous as hell. Didn't answer a single question they had.

    I had nothing in the house like scales or cash and i don't have any previous offences.

    I got court in 2 weeks time and I'm starting to worry a lot about it.

    What do you think will happen in court?


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