Cultivation of Narcotic Plants

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Cultivation of Narcotic Plants

In Victoria, the Cultivation of Narcotic Plants is a serious criminal offence that may lead to prison sentences and fines. Although there are other types of narcotic plants, charges generally relate to cannabis.

The Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (the “Drugs Act”) establishes three separate cultivation offences, each of which came in to force on 1 January 2002:

Section 72 – Cultivation of a large commercial quantity of narcotic plants;

A ‘Large Commercial Quantity’ is 1000 or more plants with a total weight of 250 kg or more. In this instance, as a maximum sentence, the court could impose life imprisonment of 25 years along with a fine of up to 5000 penalty units.

Section 72A – Cultivation of a commercial quantity of narcotic plants; and

A ‘Commercial Quantity’ means between 100 and 999 plants weighing in total between 25 kg and 249.99 kg. Here, the charge carries a maximum level 2 imprisonment penalty, equivalent to 25 years.

Section 72B – Cultivation of narcotic plants.

A ‘Non-Commercial Quantity’ is defined as fewer than 100 plants with a net weight of less than 25 kg. This charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment. However, if the court is satisfied that there is no intention to traffic, the maximum penalty is 1 years imprisonment with a fine of 20 penalty units.

Cultivation of Narcotic Plants Elements

To establish the Cultivation of Narcotic Plants offence, all four of the following must be proved in court beyond a reasonable doubt:

The accused:

  1. was found to have cultivated a narcotic plant
  2. was neither licensed nor authorised to cultivate a narcotic plant
  3. held the intention to cultivate a narcotic plant
  4. possessed a quantity of the narcotic plant for drug dependence that is:
    • less than the commercial quantity for the charge of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Non-Commercial Quantity (subject to legislation Section 72B)
    • not less than and not more than the commercial quantity for the charge of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Commercial Quantity (subject to legislation Section 72A)
    • not less than the large commercial quantity for the charge of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Large Commercial Quantity (subject to legislation Section 72)

Charged with Cultivation of Narcotic Plants?

If you have been charged with a Cultivation of Narcotic Plants offence, it is VERY important that you speak with an expert Drug Lawyer now.

Why? Because if not properly handled, this charge could result in very serious consequences.

At Furstenburg Law, we specialise in criminal law and have expert knowledge of the defence strategies that can be effectively deployed. Remember that it is up to the prosecution to conclusively prove that you had the intention to cultivate a certain quantity of narcotic plants.

As we have done on numerous occasions, we can offer you powerful legal representation, give professional advice about your expected prospects of defending your charge at trial, and help negotiate a lesser charge whenever possible.

Our commitment is to ensure the best outcome possible and that you receive a fair trial. Put your case in skilful hands. Contact us here.

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