– section 72 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981
When someone cultivates or attempts to cultivate narcotic plants in a quantity larger than a commercial quantity without being authorised to do so. With this sort of offending there is no difference between cultivating heroin, cocaine or marijuana.
Examples of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Large Commercial Quantity
- Two brothers grows 100 large marijuana plants in their shed
- A group of people set up a production plant in a factory and make large quantities of cocaine
What are some of the possible defences to a Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Large Commercial Quantity charge?
- The quantity of the drug cultivated was not a large commercial quantity
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.
Questions that are asked in cases like this:
- What is the large commercial quantity for the drug you are being charged with cultivating?
- Can they prove you were linked to the cultivation?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge
This sort of charge will generally be heard in the county Court. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment (level 1 imprisonment) including a fine of not more than 5000 penalty units.
What is the legal definition of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Large Commercial Quantity?
Cultivating or attempting to cultivate a narcotic plant in a quantity, that is not less than the large commercial quantity applicable to that narcotic plant.
The section that covers this offence is section 72 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.1
What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
Cultivation of narcotic plants in a large commercial quantity is a very serious offence for which the Courts say that you normally must serve a lengthy prison term if you are found guilty.
Other Important Resources
- Cultivating a Commercial Quantity of Narcotic Plants in the Higher Courts: Sentencing Snapshot
- Crimes (Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Bill 1990
- Sentencing: the distinction between trafficking and cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis
- VCC summaries – cultivation of a commercial quantity of narcotic plant: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 August 2016
 Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 – Section 72
(a) to level 1 imprisonment (life); and
(b) in addition to imprisonment, to a penalty of not more than 5000 penalty units.
1 An offence against this section is a category 1 offence under the Sentencing Act 1991 . See section 5(2G) of that Act for the requirement to impose a custodial order for this offence.
2 An offence against this section is a serious drug offence for the purposes of the Confiscation Act 1997 . On the conviction of a person for a serious drug offence, the court must make an order under section 89DI of the Sentencing Act 1991 declaring the person to be a serious drug offender.