Finding the right tent, lights and fan can be a daunting prospect for new growers: What do you need? How do you know what is right for your situation? How do you avoid overkill?
The UK Cannabis Social Clubs (UKCSC) are offering patients the opportunity to learn how to produce the medicine they desperately need at the lowest possible price – and it’s working. Our events are key to teaching our members how they can continue to medicate themselves for the fairest possible price.
You aren’t funding organised crime
There is medicine there when you need it
It costs around a fifth of the price
Ability to choose the most helpful strains
Knowing it is clean and pesticide free
Problems patients often tell us they have when it comes to growing:
- A lack of space
- Living in shared housing
- Physical capabilities
- Set up and running costs
- Housing Association inspections
What we suggest to patients to overcome some of these problems:
- Work out how much cannabis you need each month
- Form a Non-Profit Collective
Keeping track of your cannabis consumption is a good first step to realising how many plants you would need to grow to keep yourself medicated. Getting involved with a non-profit collective (NPC) could well be a productive step towards a clean and regular supply of medical cannabis – but it needs to operate within its means.
It is often the case that patients need more cannabis than the average recreational consumer, as they are medicating at a more consistent rate – often for life. The cost of purchasing herbal cannabis on the current illicit market is around £10 to £15 a gram, depending on where you live in the UK.
The practical solution for patients in a Cannabis Social Club is to team up, share the cost and, subsequently, share the harvest.
One of the biggest obstacles in establishing an NPC is finding someone who can grow clean cannabis. More often than not, there is a member that has space but not the know-how or resources to start. If not, speak to your club admins to see if they are able to help you team up with a capable grower to teach you or someone that might have room to grow for a few more patients, providing they are below the UKCSC maximum of nine plants.
Comparing the average street prices of cannabis products, with those that are grown under the UKCSC Fair Trade Tagged Collective Model, it’s easy to see why an NPC is worth patients’ while.
Not only is it considerably more ethical to grow your own as part of a collective – but considerably cheaper, too.
Street Price Guide
Herbal Cannabis £7 – £20 Single grams cost more than buying an ounce and less when you buy in larger bulk.
Bubble Hash £5 – £20 per gram
Import Hash £2 – 15 per gram
Full Extract Oil £30-50 per gram
Shatter/Wax £60-120 per gram
Fair Trade Guide
Herbal Cannabis £3-10 per gram
Bubble Hash £5-10 per gram
Full Extract Oil £10-30 per gram
Shatter/Wax £15-50 per gram
Fully Shared Cost
Herbal Cannabis £1-2 per gram
Bubble Hash £5-10 per gram
Full Extract Oil £5-15 per gram
Shatter/Wax £15-25 per gram
The cost of setting up an NPC is usually the biggest investment and the first hurdle that can put patients off becoming fully self-sufficient.
Items required for setting up an NPC are not classed as consumables, as once you have most, they will last for at least 2 years or longer providing they are cared for. Exceptions can be made for light bulbs and carbon filters, which we advise should be changed every year.
Starting out with the best possible equipment is not a necessary step toward a working NPC. With the amount of money that can be saved per gram of herbal cannabis, equipment can be upgraded over time and reinvested back into the grow.
The following list comes to around £350-400;
- Extractor Fan
- Carbon Filter
- Light Bulb
- Reflector Hood
- Oscillating Fan
- pH stick (yes even for organic growing)
More frequent costs to take into account are;
- Clay Pebbles
Electricity is worked out by Kilo Watt Hours and, in the UK, that amounts to 12p per unit.
The monthly running costs of a 600watt HPS light and a 5-inch Extractor fan comes to around £56. Over a 15 week cycle that is £210 – give or take.
The likely yield from this is around 450g (16oz) of dried cannabis buds.
The cost of a single ounce of bud is £200 on average around the UK and in cities, it can be as high as £400.
By sharing the setup and running costs of a garden, for the cost of a single ounce or two, you can get four times as much. Once you have paid for your set up costs and are on to your second harvest, you are just paying for electricity and nutrients – resulting in cheaper and cheaper herbal cannabis.
Patients should not be getting into debt or dangerous situations over trying to access quality medicine to give them a good quality of life – because the debt and danger don’t bode well for one’s ill health.
But what about the law?
Yes, cannabis cultivation is against the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – but as a patient myself, that law is against my right to good health and I would rather be a patient breaking an unjust law than a patient suffering, simply to obey the same unjust law. The guidelines the UKCSC have put together for growing allow no more than nine plants. This number is considered non-commercial by the courts in the Sentencing Council guidelines and the advice given if caught. is a non-custodial sentence.
While some people feel empowered by growing and others find it therapeutic, others find the stress of the potential implications too much and decide they cannot grow.
The UKCSC have created a Cannabis Growers Union called the Tagged Plant Collectives.
Offering tags at £5 each, all profits from the Tagged Plant Collective goes towards a legal aid fund in the event that one is compromised by authorities. The gardens display the tags around each plant, which are uniquely serialised, and display a poster alerting police that this is a medical grow and not part of organised crime. This removes the grower from anti-social behaviour and is done for health reasons – not profit.
While this is not a “get out of jail free card”, it is a symbol that you are part of a self regulatory model – something bigger and want to be part of normal society that abides the rules. It also indicated that the patient is a part of something that is pushing to change the law for all cannabis consumers, not for personal gain.
Personally, I would rather be busted for something than nothing and I’d like to do so standing beside patients who are walking the same narrow lifeline as me in the UK prohibition of cannabis.
If you would like to get hold of some tags and register your existing garden with the UKCSC, or you would like to find out more about getting involved with a club or other patients, email email@example.com with “Tagged Plant Collective” as the subject and we will respond within 1 week.
The UKCSC is a non-profit organisation helping to try and make cannabis a safer product for people to consume for whatever their need or desire. We do not discriminate over your use of cannabis and believe that a regulated and less hidden market will reduce the harm and negative stigma that is directed towards cannabis. If you like what we are working towards, please consider making a donation to our Go Fund Me and help us reach our goal of £10,000 by the end of this year.
You can read on here for more details on the Tagged Plant Collectives.