Presenter Charlotte Smith was on hand to give viewers an overview of the industry in the UK, as she shared with viewers how current laws are preventing farmers from cashing in on the crops.
She then stated that there was “red tape” that was preventing UK farmers from cashing in on part of the plant.
The legality surrounding the production of cannabis in the UK is something that Countryfile has explored before, as Charlotte went to look at the issues the farmers were facing with the plant.
Today, she informed viewers about CBD oil, which is legal in the UK, and often used by consumers in an attempt to help with things such as chronic pain.
“This [CBD oil] has become a multi million pound industry, but we’ve discovered that red tape is preventing British farmers from getting involved,” she noted.
After talking to one guest, Sharon, who had medicated her joint pain with CBD oil, Charlotte reassured viewers.
“I suspect I know what you might be thinking, but let’s be absolutely clear, no one in there is getting high, CBD oil has almost no THC in it and THC is the psychoactive drug normally associated with cannabis.”
She then travelled to a “secret location in Somerset” which is legally growing cannabis plants.
“No UK farmer has ever been given a license to turn the bud into valuable CBD oil, and that red tape is locking farmers out of a market worth much more than traditional plants,” Charlotte explained.
Farmer George Thomas then explained the huge value that the ability to extract CBD oil would bring them: “In monetary terms it would probably be worth about £20,000.”
As Charlotte questioned fellow worker on the site, Dr Nick, he explained that it was: “All about the supply chain, we would have control on the high standards of growth, high standards of extraction, so we would know exactly, from seed to customer, where the product came from.”
The presenter then looked further into the legality around the issue, she told viewers: “Just a recap, you can grow hemp plants, and you can import and sell CBD oil but you can’t use your hemp to make CBD – confused?”
They then went to a hemp farm in Oxfordshire, where one guest explained their battle with the Home Office over the “confusing” laws surrounding growing the crop.
As the pair walked over a field, show guest Ali Silk told the presenter: “Well there was 40 acres of industrial hemp planted here… very sad.”