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how long can you go to jail for growing weed

There is more information on this issue in sentencing for drug offences.

Maximum: 14 years’ imprisonment and/or unlimited fine.

Offence Range: Discharge – 10 years’ imprisonment.

A person can only be charged with cultivation or production, not both offences together.

Penalties available for cultivation of cannabis

The severity of the penalty applied in relation to cultivation of cannabis will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. The prosecution consider the size of the operation, the individual’s role in said operation & certain mitigating factors. The Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Offences outlines the range of sentences available for cultivation of cannabis cases:

It is unlawful to cultivate any part of a cannabis plant. It is not an offence to supply or possess cannabis seeds, but any action which germinates or cultivates them is an offence.

Cultivation is the tending of plants, i.e. watering, feeding, nurturing etc.

POCA provides the courts with scope to confiscate the proceeds of a crime where a defendant is shown to have benefited from their criminal conduct.

The reason that an individual would be charged with production instead of cultivation is because production is classed as a ‘trafficking’ offence, which allows the authorities to order a POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) hearing.

Police can issue a warning or an on-the-spot fine of £90 if you’re found with cannabis.

Psychoactive substances include things like nitrous oxide (‘laughing gas’).

Food, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, medicine and the types of drugs listed above do not count as psychoactive substances.

Your penalty will depend on:


If you’re under 18, the police are allowed to tell your parent, guardian or carer that you’ve been caught with drugs.

You can get a fine or prison sentence if you:

The penalty is likely to be more severe if you are found to be supplying drugs (dealing, selling or sharing).

Types of drugs

*The government can ban new drugs for 1 year under a ‘temporary banning order’ while they decide how the drugs should be classified.

You may be charged with possessing an illegal substance if you’re caught with drugs, whether they’re yours or not.

Being Convicted of Cultivation Can Affect You the Rest of Your Life

1. Possession for Personal Use

One full ounce or more, but less than 10 pounds, is a Class 1 felony. A Class 1 felony is punishable by three to eight months in prison and a discretionary fine.

3. Cultivation

When growing marijuana on a private residence, you could be charged with cultivation. Punishment for cultivation is like possession with intent to distribute, starting at a Class 1 felony and going up to a Class D felony in penalties.

If you are arrested with less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana, you will likely face a Class 3 misdemeanor, which comes with a fine of $200. Typically, this misdemeanor has a suspended jail sentence. However, if you have 0.5 to 1.5 ounces, you will be elevated to a Class 1 misdemeanor, and you could spend one to 45 days in jail and pay a maximum discretionary penalty of $1,000.

It is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately after your arrest. The team at DeMent Askew can help you or a loved one facing charges related to growing marijuana.

It is illegal to possess marijuana, even for personal use.

There are more serious penalties for intent to distribute, too. If you have a full manufacturing farm in your backyard, you are more likely to face: