It is said that the British Empire was built on tea. However, getting the tea required hemp - lots of hemp - so a more veracious adage would be to say that the British Empire was built on Cannabis, if not just plain old greed! Admittedly, neither  carry the romantic, lazy-cricket-afternoon feel of the more popular one.

Nonetheless, back in the 1500's the monarch even forced landlords to grow cannabis to keep up with the demand for sail-cloth and rope, levying harsh fines from those who failed to meet quotas. So it is rather ironic that one of the most prolific cannabis cultivating nations, after half a millennia of innovation, war and development, should find itself with possibly the most pitiful cannabis industry on the planet!

How can this be? Perhaps the truth behind the irony is that it was in fact greed that built the British Empire not cannabis, it is greed that continues to drive it, and it is certainly greed that has led to UK weed being shitter than anywhere else. This also ties in with reports that greedier parts of the UK, i.e. the South East, seem to have much crappier weed that more modest regions, i.e. up north. 

Before throwing some numbers around to get a quantitative handle on the magnitude of the greed that is driving the UK cannabis industry, it is worth considering the structure of this industry:

Other than a relatively small amount of classic import hash or brick-weed, and the odd bit of boutique-bud that is smuggled into the country for those who derive a sense of satisfaction from paying obscene amounts of money for completely impractical luxuries, the bulk of cannabis consumed in the UK is grown in the UK. One could speculate that the largest piece of the homegrown supply pie would belong to organised criminal networks, the next largest to indy growers selling to large-scale buyers or dealers, and the smallest piece to people growing for themselves and their associates. One could further speculate that as the pieces of pie get smaller, the quality of product produced by each sector would increase.

Traditional Grow Profit

Growing cannabis is a highly profitable activity. Assuming a single large room is coverted to a smallscale clandestine commercial cannabis cultivation venture and is fitted with 4 x 600w grow lamps to provide a grow area of about 3x3m:

The operation should yield around 1g per watt on each each crop, which should take 2-3 months. This means that around 1.8kg of cannabis would be produced every 76 days (taking 2.5 as the crop duration). .


droom is coverted to

Home grown Cannabis is probably available to dealers in the following forms:

  • Shatter/concentrate - say 80% THC:  Street value around £70-£80/gram (£2000+/oz)
  • High-grade bud - say 30% THC: Street value around £12-£15/gram (£340+/oz)
  • Good-quality shaken bud - say 15-20% THC: Street value around £10-£12/gram (£280+/oz)
  • Shake - say 5% THC: Street value around £5/gram (£140+/oz)
  • Bare Butane Blasted Bud - say <1% THC: Street value around £10/gram (£280+/oz) but few return customers and a good chance of getting beaten up!
  • Washed and Dressed Butane Blasted Bud - say <1% THC: Street value around £10/gram (£280+/oz) with a surprisingly high level of return customers but moderate to fair chance of getting beaten up!