An “experiment” to grow cannabis for personal use could have led to a £40,000 crop, a court heard.
Dominic Robert Close was found with 25 cannabis stalks, which he told the probation service was a small amount he’d grown to smoke himself.
His solicitor Andrew Coleman told Teesside Magistrates’ Court that “nobody thought that there were 25 full plants there, or that it was worth £40,000”.
But chair of the bench Peter Bacon told Close: “The debate seems to be which end of the scale this needs to be.
“In your eyes it could have been an experiment, but it could have been much more.”
A probation service report had been read to the court, and said Close, 41, had always been a heavy cannabis user and suffered with anxiety and struggled to sleep.
He had started using the drug aged 11, the court heard.
Close, of Airdrie Grove, Hartlepool, had admitted producing cannabis and possessing cocaine, which magistrates were told he used recreationally.
He was given a 12 month community order, with 100 hours of unpaid work, and told to pay £180 in court costs and charges.
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