What is the offence of ‘cultivating a prohibited plant’?

Cultivating a prohibited plant is a broad offence that captures a range of activities such as:

  • Planting or growing prohibited plants – (cannabis plants, or genus Erythroxylon (a cocaine source) or of the species Papaver Somniferum (opium poppy), Papaver orientale (oriental poppy) or Papaver bracteatum (Persian poppy))
  • Sowing or scattering seeds of prohibited plants
  • Tending, nurturing or harvesting a plant – so even watering plants captures this offence.

The seriousness of this offence increases with an increased number of plants.

For the offence of cultivating cannabis plants by enhanced indoor means, the offence is regarded as more serious when more than 50 plants are seized.

What is the definition of ‘Enhanced Indoor Means’?

This refers to plants cultivated inside a building or structure with the assistance of:

  • artificial light or heat, or
  • nutrient enriched water, or
  • spraying a suspended plant’s roots with nutrient solution.

The offence of cultivation by an enhanced indoor means is captured when the number of prohibited plants is not less than the small quantity applicable to prohibited plants but less than the commercial quantity applicable to prohibited plants. (see quantities in the penalty section below.)

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