(Last Updated On: November 27, 2022)

Cannabis is rarely out of the headlines as more countries legalise the use of the plant. In this article, we’ll take a journey around the world to see which countries allow residents to grow cannabis…

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There are many positives associated with the use of cannabis, especially for those going through tough medical procedures. The legality of the plant is always a topical discussion and there are plenty of mixed opinions country to country. 

As more and more countries relax their laws on the use and cultivation of cannabis, others continue to ban this drug and enforce a prohibitive law on growing cannabis

In this article, we’ll look at which countries allow you to grow cannabis – and which most definitely do not…

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis, also known as marijuana or weed, is a psychoactive drug which is made from the cannabis plant. When smoked, cannabis is used as a recreational drug and is popular for its mellow high. 

Additionally, the cannabis plant is used to create CBD oil which is used for a number of medicinal purposes. CBD (cannabidiol) contains healing properties from the cannabis plant but the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the part which gets you ‘high’ is removed. 

Where in the World is it Legal to Grow Cannabis?

The use of cannabis has been decriminalised in over 30 countries worldwide but, what about growing it? Even in countries where using cannabis is legal, the rules for cultivating it can be a different matter. So, in this section, we’ll look at some of the countries which allow residents to grow cannabis.


The use of cannabis in Canada has been legal since 2018, although age limits for purchase and use vary from province to province. Canadian residents are also permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants per household for personal use. 

The distribution and sale of cannabis in Canada are, however, closely regulated and only licensed merchants are permitted to do so.


The Mexican Supreme Court lifted the ban on cannabis in the country in 2018 and decreed that persons over the age of 18 may possess up to 28 grams for personal use. Mexican citizens may also grow cannabis plants, although they do need a permit in order to do so. 


One of the more unusual cases is Thailand as, despite the fact that citizens are strictly prohibited from using recreational cannabis, they are actually allowed to grow up to six plants per household in order to supplement their income. These plants, however, must be sold to a state medical facility for medicinal use. 

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South Africa

2018 seems to have been a big year for cannabis legislation as South Africa also lifted bans on the use of the drug this year. In 2018, South Africa also ruled that adults were permitted to grow cannabis plants if it is for private use and will, under no circumstances, be sold. The purchase of cannabis and cannabis products in South Africa is legal only for people over the age of 18.


The 3.485 million residents of this South American country have been enjoying legalised cannabis use since 2013, making it the first federal government in the world to pass such a law. As well as being permitted to buy cannabis for recreational use, Uruguayan adults may also grow up to six plants for personal use. 

The No-Grow Zones for Cannabis

With such widespread legislation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that cannabis is legal pretty much everywhere, but that’s very much not the case. In this section, we’ll look at those countries which still very much enforce a ban on the purchase, use and cultivation of cannabis. 

The United Kingdom

Despite its reputation as a modern, forward-thinking country, the UK prohibits the sale, use and growth of recreational cannabis. Being caught with even a small amount of cannabis can result in a fine, with custodial sentences for those with larger quantities and those caught dealing with the drug. 

Illegal or not, the law in the UK seemingly doesn’t deter everybody as there are a large number of arrests for growing cannabis every year. In the period 2020 – 2021 police in England and Wales seized a staggering 500,448 cannabis plants from private residences. 

Despite a number of campaigns over the years by cannabis advocates, the United Kingdom currently has no plans to legalise cannabis for recreational use – and this is unlikely to change in the near future. 

The United Arab Emirates

The UAE is known for its strict laws on everything from alcohol consumption to public displays of affection so, it’s little wonder that it operates a zero-tolerance policy on all drugs, including cannabis. 

Those caught in possession of cannabis may face up to four years in prison and a fine of 10,000 dirhams (approx. £2303.59). Those caught selling cannabis are subject to a prison sentence of between 7 and 10 years and, in serious cases of drug trafficking, the sentence may be death by firing squad. 

No growing without knowing the law…

Whether you’re looking to buy a small amount of cannabis while on holiday or fancy putting your horticultural skills to use in growing it, it’s incredibly important that you know and understand the laws in whatever country you may be in as these differ widely across the globe.

Should you be unfortunate enough to face charges for possession or cultivation of cannabis, it’s important that you secure the services of a reputable solicitor as soon as possible. 

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on the law surrounding cannabis use. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

Written by Kathy Cooley