With Canberra, ACT allowing people to grow marijuana for their personal use, do you know the cannabis limitations in Victoria?
You can grow marijuana in Victoria with a Medicinal Cannabis License. Less than five plants may be considered personal use. It is illegal to grow or harvest cannabis for personal or medical use without a license. If caught, you may avoid criminal charges through Drug or Court Diversion. The number of cannabis plants you can grow for personal use is zero.
The current and only legal method of growing cannabis plants in VIC is through a Medicinal Cannabis License that is covered under The Narcotics Drug Act 1967.
With this license, a person or company can grow, cultivate and harvest marijuana plants that will be used for medicinal purposes.
For the everyday Australian looking to understand how many marijuana plants you can grow, the law is quite specific.
We always recommend discussing the current legal situation with either the relevant government department or your preferred legal counsel.
The legal way to grow cannabis
Outside of Canberra, ACT, there are legal ways to grow medicinal cannabis.
For individuals and businesses in Victoria, you can apply for a license to grow and cultivate medicinal marijuana.
The cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis plants, hemp plants and marijuana plants in Victoria is regulated by the Australian Government’s national licensing scheme.
The license is quite strict and focused more towards businesses who intend to produce medical-grade cannabis products for distribution across Australia and the world.
To apply for a license to grow marijuana in Vcitoria, you must meet these requirements:
- have a suitable and safe location
- have a facility ready to cultivate
- meet the minimum security standards
- have the knowledge and experience to cultivate
There are plenty of more rules and restrictions around the cultivation of Cannabis in Victoria, even if you have a license.
That’s the down-side, but the future is bright for cultivating cannabis in Melbourne, Victoria.
There is a lot of positivity in Australia around the legalisation of marijuana of personal and recreational use.
After Canberra, Melbourne is expected to be Australia’s next region to legalise the personal growing and use of weed plants.
The law around growing marijuana
It is illegal to grow, cultivate and to harvest marijuana, but there are some leniency for first-time offenders and smaller quantities for personal use.
Smaller quantities of cannabis are often defined as less than 50 grams of dried cannabis or less than 2 or 4 plants.
Whether you are growing 2 plants or 20 plants, it is still illegal to grow for personal or medical use (without a license) in Victoria.
First-time offenders with a small personal amount of cannabis may avoid a criminal conviction.
Victoria is looking at the Australian Capital Territory to understand how the decriminalisation of marijuana benefits society. This can be covered under minor drug offences.
The exception and drug diversion
The heavy criminal penalties are based around the possession of large quantities of marijuana with the apparent intent to sell, traffick or distribute.
For Australians that have a personal amount of cannabis and fit within their eligibility criteria, police or the court may offer a drug diversion to you to avoid any unnecessary court proceedings or criminal charges.
The police have a basic checklist to understand whether or not the person found with cannabis are applicable for a drug diversion or if they should go through the courts. These may include:
- Admitting that they were in possession of marijuana for personal use
- No severe criminal history
- No violent criminal history
- No drug-related criminal history
- No current or ongoing criminal charges at the time that related to the acquisition, possession or use of the marijuana
- First time receiving a drug diversion
More information on Victoria’s drug laws and court diversions can be found here:
Medical marijuana laws
The medical marijuana is Victoria is available for patient treatment, clinical studies and extensive research.
The national legalisation of medical marijuana allows for patients for a medical illness that exists for more than three months to be eligible for treatment.
Unlike the ACT, you will not be allowed to grow your own cannabis; however, you can still receive dry bud (cannabis flower), but it is more likely to receive Cannabidiol (CBD) oils.
Cannabis Clinics or authorised doctors are able to prescribe you with medicinal marijuana products. Once you have received the prescription, a pharmacy will courier the medicine to you.
Cultivating prohibited plants
It is still illegal to grow, cultivate or distribute prohibited plants that include:
- 420 plants
There are strict laws in place around the sale and distribution of drugs, and it isn’t any different for cannabis.
The laws are even stricter around the intent to sell and/or distribute marijuana, compared to a small amount found for personal use.
For the offence of cultivating a large amount of cannabis plants with the intent to sell, there can be a fine of $20,000 dollars and a potential prison sentence of ten or more years.
For people caught for more than ten, twenty or thirty plants, the legal system in Victoria may consider this intent to sell.
For up-to-date and accurate legal information, we recommend speaking with a legal professional.
The possession of cannabis plants
The possession of cannabis plants can be having this on your property, on your person or in a vehicle of yours.
Possession of cannabis is one of the most common offences, and various categories are depending on the quantity found. This may change over time or vary per government region.
|Up to 50 grams of cannabis (1 plant)
||Small quantity (minor offence)
|50 to 250 grams (10 plants)
||Small or trafficable amount
|250 grams (10 plants)
|250 grams to 25 kilograms (100 plants)
||Traffickable or commercial amount
|25 to 250 kilograms (1000 plants)
||Large commercial quantity
For the most up-to-date information in regards to the definition of possession, we recommend consulting your government’s justice system or legal counsel.
Drug offences in Victoria
This article was researched using these and other references:
James is an experienced writer and legal cannabis advocate in Australia. He answers all the questions about business, legalisation and medicinal cannabis.
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