Australian Horticulturist Spared Jail Time For Growing Unusable Cannabis

An Australian man caught growing cannabis has managed to evade a jail sentence after a judge determined that his plants were unusable.

On September 19, 2018, police conducted a search at a farm in Balingup, Western Australia where 37-year-old horticulturist, David Giumelli was working.

During the search, officers discovered 39 small cannabis plants, five seedlings, and ten mature plants.

Police also found more than 316 grams of loose cannabis material in a hydroponic shed where some of the plants were growing and 30.2 grams inside the house, reports the Kalgoorlie Miner.

Giumelli began using cannabis socially in his late teens but started smoking it daily after a relationship breakdown last year.

When it became difficult to afford $400 for an ounce of cannabis each week, Giumelli decided to try growing “medical marijuana” for personal use and sharing with friends.

Defense lawyer, Twistie Venning said that Giumelli had only intended to grow six ounces but ended up growing 54 plants because he had been unsuccessful in producing viable material.

“Had he have been able to actually grow the cannabis plants to a point where he could get flowering to occur and buds to develop then he would have not have had 54 plants—he wouldn’t have had ten mature plants,” said Venning. “It is slightly ironic that he is a trained horticulturist, but actually failed to obtain usable material from the cultivation of cannabis.”

On Monday, Giumelli pleaded guilty to possession and intent to supply and received a 12-month suspended jail sentence during which he will be subject to supervision and other program requirements.