A Collective is the name given to a cannabis garden being grown for personal, medical or shared use.
Collectives are grown by; the person that will be consuming it, for someone who needs it for a serious medical condition who is unable to grow their own because of health or living situation, or for a group of friends that trust someone to grow for them so they do not have to rely on street dealers, random hook ups or internet purchases that can leave consumers vulnerable to being over charged, robbed or sold a product that is not suitable for human consumption.
Collective members can chose the strains to grow to suit the requirements they have rather than being left to chance. This is what people decided to do in Spain before Cannabis Social Clubs that you could physically enter and get cannabis became an available option.
What is a Tagged Plant Collective?
A Tagged Plant Collective is the guidance model written by the UK Cannabis Social Clubs that has taken a look at national laws, court sentencing guidelines and international shared cultivation models to devise a way that could assist British cannabis consumers and cultivators to do the same with some degree of support.
To be part of the TPC model you must become a member of the UKCSC or be a member of a local club registered with us.
TPC’s are nonprofit and closed loop meaning that only the members that share the cost of growing can access it and it cannot be resold on for a higher value.
What does Nonprofit mean?
What it costs to produce in expenditure and time is the only cost that comes into play for the members. We do not feel that money should be an incentive for growing cannabis, rather compassion and community spirit.
This simply means that no one is making a profit out of the production and transfer of products grown within this model. While it may cost something to produce which is shared by the members, no money can be added on for things such as risk or sentiment because that would be pure profit and not a reimbursement from one of the initial set up or running costs of the Collective.
Why was this model written?
Adults and medical patients should not resort to buying products they wish to consume from unregulated sources, from the streets or from people who do not care about quality the product they are selling. The cost of cannabis is far greater than it should be, the quality is often dangerous and consenting adults who would like to consume cannabis wanted a way to have better access but also act as a national union and support network that would make an effort to bring about social change for cannabis in the UK.
Individuals being busted and prosecuted for cultivating random numbers of plants has not lead us any further towards a form of regulation or acceptance for home growers and we aim for this model to show that self regulation is possible and that growing a small number of plants will not cause a negative impact to the rest of society.
People with serious health conditions often rely on others to grow cannabis so they can buy it. This can leave patients without cannabis because of the cost, or sometimes patients can even get into debt with the wrong kind of people just because they need cannabis to stay out of pain. By having caregivers that look after a Collective for a patient or group of patients it allows them to have access at a fair trade cost and get the amount and type of cannabis they require. The gardener knows that the product he is growing is going to those that need it and not being sold on the streets to underage people while someone makes a profit.
This is not a get out of jail free card. This is a Cannabis Growers Union. Cultivation of cannabis in the UK is illegal and punishable by prison for up to 14 years. This model attempts to help break down the negative legal and public stigma that cannabis cultivation faces. Becoming a registered Tagged Plant Collective means that you are prepared to help try and change the law for others who wish to do this as well as yourself in the event that your Collective is breached by the Police.
Personal and shared cannabis cultivation should be viewed in the same light of the law as home brewing beer and wine – as long as it is not for commercial use, it should be left in the hands of the civilian. If it is being made to be packaged up and sold to a wider market then we expect and hope for commercial regulations to come into place to ensure consumer safety just as you see in recreationally regulated US states.
Some UK Police forces have taken up a policy of not using resources to track down cannabis consumers and growers as they see it as a waste of time and money – there are no victims and it involves a lot of paperwork. This does not mean all forces are the same across the UK and some still take pleasure in busting personal growers under 9 plants and prosecuting them.
Crown Prosecution Service does not want to see medical cannabis patients being brought to the docs for trying to stay out of pain.
It is down to us consumers and cultivators to try and make this situation better for ourselves however.
How it works
The UKCSC advise on a plant limit of up to 9 – this is the number that courts consider to be non commercial and can be deemed as for personal use. Each plant in the garden is given a Tag that is placed around the bottom of the stem and has a unique serial number registered to that Collective. The Tag number is linked up to the anonymised member number. UKCSC like to collect the yield data for each pant that has been tagged. Tags cost £5 each which goes into a Legal Aid Fund reserve for when the times comes to defend a member of the Cannabis Growers Union. Tags are single cycle use only.
The Collective places a “Notice To Police” sign inside the garden in case of the event that the garden location is compromised and raided by police. This notice informs the Police that this is not an organised crime grow and one for personal/medical use and not for profit. In the event that we are contacted, we will also confirm that the serial numbers of the Tags are ones registered with us to ensure that they have not been falsified or are expired Tags.
Examples of Collectives
1: Jill, Tim and Amar all want to get access to Fair Trade Grade. They get a list of equipment that they will need to start growing together and how much it will cost. They all put in an equal amount. Jill lives in shared housing and can’t get away with a tent. Amar works changing shift patterns meaning he doesn’t have the time to give them the full attention they need. Tim has the space to grow though so offers the space for the three to use. After registering with the UKCSC or local club they put the tags around their new plants and put the notice up in the room. They agree to veg their chosen strains out for 6 weeks before flowering them for roughly 8-10 weeks. Knowing this gives them an indication of how much electricity and water they are likely to use during this period so they can be prepared for the bill at the end or have enough to put on the meter throughout the grow cycle. At the end of the flowering period the plants are cut down, dried and then trimmed as a group. The end product is split up equally and Jill, Tim and Amar all contribute towards the final split of the grow cost and each get a third of the crop.
2: Damon has been gardening for a number of years because he enjoys the relationship with the plant and always grows more than he needs for himself. He has become aware that there is a Cannabis Social Club in his area and would like to offer his excess to their members. Damon joins the CSC and offers members the chance to access his product at Fair Trade cost. He will either allow a certain number of members to join based on their cycle-to-cycle requirements or allow members of the CSC to have open access to his products at FT via the CSC.
How to form your own Collective
If you already cultivate for yourself and are looking to share your excess crop with others that want to be part of this model you may wish to get in touch with us or your local cannabis social club to find out if there are any member groups that have formed looking for a cultivator in their area that wishes to be part of the Union and follow the model for self regulation.
If you are someone who is looking to set up a Collective and has some money to put into buying the equipment and seeds, but does not have the space, or your living conditions do not allow it (landlord checks, housing association, nosey neighbours etc) you will need to find others in a similar situation that have something to contribute to setting one up. This can be made easier by joining your local cannabis social club and getting to know some of the other members. There may be someone who has the space and another that has the know how and together you can form a Tagged Plant Collective with the UKCSC and be on your way to having better quality cannabis strains of your own choice and at least a fifth of the cost.
Fair Trade: Calculating the cost or share of the end products
Setting up a Collective Garden can incur different costs, some are one off and others are will need replacing over time. It is important that these costs are transparent to the members from the offset. Putting a small amount of reserve money aside to be prepared for replacing a bulb or carbon filter or fan may be in your interest and be the difference in a crop failing halfway through flower.
The UKCSC we have made a Fair Trade Cost Calculator to enable you and your Collective members to input the electrical wattage that your growing equipment uses as well as the number of weeks growing in veg and bloom, hours taken to tend and total grams yield. This data is then used to give you an end price per gram and ounce so that members are reimbursing the growing costs, not a rounded up, fictional or sentimentally arrived at end price.
What if a Collective grows too much or too little?
Sometimes a Collective will produce more product than it needs for its members requirements per growing cycle (usually about three months). If this is the case, the Collective may wish to donate their Over Grow to a patient, this may be a member of their Cannabis Social Club (if you would like to do this and would like to find a patient please feel free to get in contact with us).
You may also find another Collective that is setting up and currently waiting for their first cycle to finish, or, may wish to offer it at Fair Trade cost to the other members in your Cannabis Social Club.
If you are part of a Collective that has not managed to grow as much as the members require, it is suggested to speak to your CSC rep and ask them if there are any other Collectives in the club that may have some Over Grow that can be shared at Fair Trade costs. They can then contact the wider Tagged Plant Collectives to ask for assistance if availability has still been dry.
Under no circumstances should any product including Over Grow from a Tagged Plant Collective be sold for profit or to non UKCSC members.
If a consenting adult you know wants access to your Collective product and you have enough Over Grow after you and your members needs, you may like to consider making them a full time member of the Collective and part of sharing the costs if other members are OK with this.
It is not acceptable to increase your membership numbers if you cannot provide the requirements for the new members without reducing other existing members share.
Other Products Made From Collective Grown Cannabis
Herbal flower is not the only product that consumers and patients like or require from the cannabis plant. Often, edibles or extract products are desired. We have included a section in the Fair Trade Calculator to help assist with costing these products and the time taken to produce them. The same principal of nonprofit carries over with all products made from the closed loop Collective. Only the costs incurred in making the final product and time taken can be reimbursed.