A simple cannabis offence applies to offences where there is possession of smaller amounts of cannabis - for example, up to 100 grams of cannabis, 20 grams of cannabis resin, smoking cannabis, possessing equipment or cultivating not more than 1 plant.
For simple cannabis offences the police have the discretion to issue a cannabis expiation notice which means payment of an on the spot fine that avoids court proceedings. Cannabis grown hydroponically is not included in the cannabis expiation notice scheme.
What the prosecution must prove
The prosecution must prove that you were in physical control of the cannabis or equipment and had the knowledge (or intention) of having the cannabis or equipment.
There are a range of possible defences including, but not limited to, the following:
- it is not cannabis;
- you didn't know that it was cannabis;
- it was not in your possession.
The maximum penalty for a simple cannabis offence is a $300 fine.