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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Is it legal to produce, manufacture, advertise and supply equipment

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Is it legal to produce, manufacture, advertise and supply equipment designed for the cultivation of marijuana?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We are a UK limited company and have designed a grow system which will produce high yields of marijuana and will be sold in the UK and overseas. It will be marketed in the UK and overseas via the internet and magazines.

Does it have any innocent purpose or is it solely for marijuana?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It can be used to grow vegetables etc but its main purpose and the thrust of the advertising will be aimed at those who wish to grow marijuana. It will also ultimately be marketed in those countries that have legalised the use of medicinal marijuana

You are perfectly free to market it where its lawful to grow marijuana.
The difficulty is there. Obviously you are not in possession of marijuana or supplying it yourself and generally speaking drug paraphenalia is not not unlawful per se. However, there are other offences. The one that I can think of immediately is just assisting or encouraging a crime contrary to Part 2 of the Serious Crime act 2007.
It is fair to say that manufacturers of products like rizzlas would not be prosecuted but they have an innocent purpose and this does not on the face of it.
Whether or not you would be prosecuted is open to question but there are offences that would cover this. If you are based abroad then it would make it harder to prosecute you but they will find a way to do so if this becomes a big issue for the Crown here. They can always summons you and then extradite you. That is not something they would do lightly but if this becomes a big issue they may. If you are advertising and selling in the UK then jurisdiction is not an issue because at least some of the offence was committed here.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks Jo. I am one of the major shareholders and a solicitor for over 25 years so I am keen that we keep within the law. The upshot would appear to be that we can market it in those countries where it is decriminalised and/or that the cultivation and use of medicinal marijuana is allowed but not in the UK unless it had a number of uses (e.g. cultivation of herbs etc). I assume a disclaimed on the marketing material to the effect that " this product is intended for use for cultivation of plants including marijuana but only in circumstances where it is legal to do so" would not really assist?

Yes, if it had an innocent purpose then the marketing would be fine as the equipment would not have a sole use of growing something unlawful.
Similarly if marijuana could be grown lawfully in the UK, for instance, for medical reasons then the marketing of this equipment will be fine as you cannot control what your purchaser will do with the equipment.
I am not sure that such a disclaimer would not assist you. Its really difficult to tell. If you are saying that you are marketing a product that helps plants grow in the UK that cope better in hotter climates then it does have an innocent purpose. If, however, all of your literature promotes the growth of marijuana then you could be in difficulty
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