Man behind illegal medicinal cannabis business with only one customer pleads guilty

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN who had only one customer for his illegal medicinal cannabis business will undergo drug counselling.

Ryan Paul Holbrook pleaded guilty to nine charges including cultivation, possession of cannabis with intent to sell or supply and firearms charges.

The prosecutor said police executed a search warrant at a Parmelia address on October 19 last year.

They said he co-operated with police, taking them to a shed with 13 plants and a hydroponic set-up, and various quantities of dried leaf and three compressed cannabis tablets around his home.

There were also various items including zip-lock bags, scales, a grinder, 200 cannabis seeds, a list with a tally of how much sold and $1005 in cash.

A .303 rifle was found under his bed and although it had no bolt it was in working order.

Two extendable batons and a knife were also found.

His lawyer said the facts were accepted and that the offences were the culmination of pain management attempts after he sustained a significant back injury in the early 2000’s.

“He battled with significant pain and turned to cannabis as a way to manage that pain,” she said.

“He became addicted when he needed large amounts.

“Due to the cost he began supplying to another – his sole customer.”

She said he bought the gun as an antique off Gumtree several years ago and had no idea it was capable of being fired.

She said the search warrant had set about a positive catalyst for change for her 34-year-old client.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards accepted his defence.

“Dealing in drugs is a scourge in this community and I do accept there was only one person you dealt to,” she said.

“Still dealing to one is still dealing – it was still a commercial operation.

“The pre-sentence report indicates you do have treatment needs and I am satisfied it can be dealt with by an order.”

He was placed on a 12-month community-based order with supervision, drugs counselling, programs and urinalysis.

He was also fined $500.

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