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Cultivating or Knowingly Taking Part in the Cultivation of Cannabis Plants

Cultivating or knowingly taking part in the cultivation of cannabis plants Is an offence under section 23(1)(a) and 23(2) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, which carries a maximum penalty of:

  1. 10 years in prison for less than 250 plants, if the case is finalised in a higher court, such as the District Court, or 2 years in prison if it is finalised in the Local Court.
  2. 15 years in prison for 250 to 999 plants, or
  3. 20 years in prison for 1000 plants or more.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You cultivated a plant, or you knowing took part in the cultivation of a plant, and
  2. The plant was a cannabis plant.

‘Cultivating’ includes sowing or scattering seeds, planting, growing, tending, nurturing or harvesting.

You ‘knowingly took part in’ cultivation if you:

  1. Took or participated in any step of the cultivation process or caused any such step to be taken
  2. Provided or arranged finance for any step in the cultivation process
  3. Provided the premises for any step in the cultivation process, or suffered or permitted any such step to be taken in a premises for which you were the owner, lessee, occupier or manager.

You are not guilty if you had a valid licence, permit or authorisation to cultivate the plant

Defences to the charge include duress and necessity.

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