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When are Drug Premises Used for the Commercial Cultivation of a Prohibited Plant by Enhanced Indoor Means

When Are ‘Drug Premises Used for the Commercial Cultivation of a Prohibited Plant by Enhanced Indoor Means’?

The Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 contains offences relating to drug premises, which include:

  1. Entering, leaving or being on drug premises under section 36X, and
  2. Allowing the use of premises as drug premises under section 36Y.

Section 36TA defines a ‘drug premises’ as one used for:

  1. The unlawful supply or manufacture of prohibited drugs, or
  2. The unlawful commercial cultivation of prohibited plants by enhanced indoor means.

Section 36TA defines ‘commercial cultivation’ as that which relates to:

  1. At least a commercial quantity of prohibited plants, or
  2. At least a small quantity but less than the commercial quantity of prohibited plants where the plants or their products are intended for sale.

Cultivation is ‘by enhanced indoor means’ if it occurs:

  1. Inside a building or structure, and
  2. Involves nurturing the plant in nutrient-enriched water, and/or applying an artificial light or heat source, and/or suspending the plant’s roots and spraying them with nutrient solution.

Section 36W(3) provides that when determining whether a premises is being used for the commercial cultivation of a prohibited plant by enhanced indoor means.

The court may consider evidence that:

  1. A police officer authorised to enter the premises was wilfully prevented, delayed or obstructed from doing so
  2. The premises was fitted externally or internally with bolts, bars or chains for the purpose of preventing, delaying or obstructing access
  3. A person was acting as a lookout to warn of police approaching the premises
  4. The premises had electric lights of 250 watts or higher, red and blue fluorescent lights, high intensity discharge lamps, ballasts, lamp mounts, reflectors or growing chambers
  5. The premises had materials on hydroponic or other enhanced indoor methods of cultivation
  6. The premises or a person on the premises had cannabis seeds, leaves, plants or clones
  7. The premises or a person on the premises had minerals, chemicals or nutrients typically used for enhanced indoor cultivation of cannabis plants, or the packaging for these items
  8. The premises had abnormally high or low electricity usage
  9. The premises had unauthorised connections to, or bypasses of, the electricity supply
  10. The premises had blacked out or boarded up windows, or condensation on windows
  11. The premises had air vents, fan systems or exhaust fans in unusual places or numbers
  12. The premises had generators that were continuously running
  13. The premises had security devices
  14. Draft excluders were fitted to an external door or doors of the premises
  15. The premises had materials kept or used in connection with the unlawful cultivation of a prohibited plant by enhanced indoor means
  16. The premises had a large amount of money that was not accounted for, and/or
  17. A person or persons on the premises appeared to be affected by a prohibited drug or plant.

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