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In Victoria, the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic) contains various charges for cultivation of prohibited narcotic plants. Cultivation at its most basic level is considered an indictable offence.

According to the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) s 33B, the cultivation of controlled plants with the intention to sell them or their products, or the belief that someone else intends to sell it is an offence.

Cultivation can include the following processes:

  • Planting.
  • Transplanting.
  • Growing or tending.
  • Guarding or concealing.
  • Harvesting.

This includes even just harvesting one leaf or planting one seed.

As of February 2016, medicinal cannabis has been legalised, meaning that you are only allowed cannabis if you have a doctors’ prescription or a permit, but you must also be aware that it is still illegal to buy or grow it for personal and recreational use.

Facing drug cultivation offences in Australia

If you find yourself facing a cultivation charge, under Section 72B of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, it will need to be proven that you cultivated the plant without permission, that you cultivated the plant with the intention to sell the plant, or for any other purpose not related to trafficking.

A drug cultivation charge is serious and you need to be aware of the charges you may face if you are indicted. Cultivation sentences are also handed own in relation to the quantity of the plant that you have. 10 plants is a trafficable quantity, 20 plants is a commercial quantity and 100 plants is a large commercial quantity.

The maximum penalty for trafficable cultivation is 1 year of imprisonment and/or a fine of 20 penalty units. The charges become more serious for cultivating commercial quantities and large commercial quantities of narcotic plants. Cultivating commercial quantities carries a maximum fine of 25 years imprisonment (level 2 imprisonment). The maximum penalty for cultivating large commercial quantities of a narcotic plant is life imprisonment (level 1 imprisonment) and a fine of 5000 penalty units.

If you are facing a charge concerning the cultivation of a prohibited plant it is important that you are aware of the specifics of your matter and if there are any defences available to you. Our team at Crim Legal has extensive experience with advising clients on cultivation charges. We have won many cultivation cases for our clients. Call us on 1300 388 298 for advice.


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