With Canberra, ACT allowing people to grow marijuana for their personal use, do you know the cannabis limitations in Western Australia?
You can grow marijuana in Western Australia with a Medicinal Cannabis License. Less than five plants may be considered personal use. The laws and rules for cannabis plants for personal use are:
- It is illegal to grow or harvest cannabis for personal use
- under five plants may be considered personal use
- there are ways to avoid criminal charges if caught with marijuana plants
- Western Australia is looking to make two plants for personal use legal
The current and only legal method of growing cannabis plants in WA 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.
Even though cannabis can be grown in Canberra, ACT for personal use, the amount of marijuana plants you can legally grow in Western Australia is 0.
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
There are legal ways to grow cannabis or marijuana in Perth, Western Australia.
Individuals and business entities can apply for a license to grow cannabis for medical use.
To apply for a license to grow cannabis, you must meet the following requirements:
- have a suitable and safe location
- facilities to cultivate cannabis
- meet a minimum security requirement
It sounds a little vague, but it requires a real investment of time and money to be eligible.
In the near future, we hope to see the laws around the cultivation of marijuana for medical use relaxed, but until then there is a lot of red tape before you can receive a license.
For perspective on who can grow medicinal marijuana in Perth, Western Australia, the first license was granted in 2017 to AusCann Group.
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.
Growing marijuana plants without a license is still an offence and has been broken up two main categories:
- possession for personal use: 10 to 100 grams or less than 20 cannabis plants
- possession with intent to sell or supply: more than 100 grams or than 20 cannabis plants
First time offenders with a small personal amount of cannabis may avoid criminal conviction.
The maximum penalty for personal use is generally a $2,000 fine, or a two years maximum imprisonment.
The maximum penalty for intent to sell or supply is a $5,000 fine or four years maximum imprisonment. This can vary depending on the severity.
Western Australia is looking at the Australian Capital Territory to understand how the decriminalisation of marijuana benefits society. This can be covered under minor personal possession drug offences.
For more information on Western Australia’s cannabis cultivation laws:
Cultivating prohibited plants
It is illegal to cultivate a prohibited plant, including cannabis, marijuana or weed, with the intent to sell, share, distribute or supply the plant.
The offence of cultivating a prohibited plant potentially include a fine of $20,000 and may also include prison time for up to ten years.
Within the Western Australian legal system, there is a presumption that a person has intent to sell when they have more than twenty cannabis, marijuana or weed plants growing or cultivating.
For up-to-date and accurate legal information, we recommend speaking with a legal professional.
Refer to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 here.
Real life situations and examples of cannabis cultivation conviction
The law changes quite often and the results may vary per case, so we have compiled a few cannabis cultivation examples here:
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.
Western Australia has one of the most diverse and supportive programs focused at helping people through rehabilition rather than criminal conviction. These include:
|Name ||Type ||Website |
|Mental Health Court Diversion Program ||Court diversion ||Link |
|Pre-sentence Opportunity Program (POP) ||Court diversion ||Link |
|Supervised Treatment Intervention Regime (STIR) ||Court diversion ||Link |
|Cannabis Intervention Requirement ||Police diversion ||Link |
|Diversion options for Juveniles ||Juvenile diversion ||Link |
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
For more information about these diversion programs, you can call 1800 722 363 between 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Monday to Sunday).
Medical marijuana laws
The medical marijuana is Western Australia is available for patient treatment, clinical studies and general 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.
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.
|Possession Amount ||Definition |
|Up to 100 grams of cannabis (less than 20 plants) ||Small quantity (personal use) |
|over 100 grams (more than 20 plants) ||Intent to sell or supply |
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.
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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