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Manufacture, Cultivation and Sale

In addition to user offences, there are a range of offences relating to the manufacture, cultivation and sale of controlled drugs, plants or precursors.

Under the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA), it is an offence to:

  • manufacture a controlled drug intending to sell any of it or believing another person intends to sell it [s 33];
  • sell a controlled precursor, believing that the buyer or someone else intends to use any of it to unlawfully manufacture a controlled drug [s 33A];
  • cultivate controlled plants intending to sell them or their products or believing another person intends to sell it [s 33B];
  • sell or intend to sell controlled plants [s 33C].

Precursors are certain defined substances that are used in the manufacturing process to make controlled drugs [see the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 (SA)].

Penalties in relation to controlled drugs

There is a distinction that affects the penalty between large commercial quantity and commercial quantity.

Large Commercial Quantities

Offences involving large commercial quantities attract a maximum fine of $500 000 and/or life imprisonment. (This offence does not have an 'aggravated offence' type.)

Commercial Quantities

Basic offences involving commercial quantities attract a maximum fine of $200 000 and/or 25 years imprisonment.

Aggravated offences of manufacturing controlled drugs involving commercial quantities attract a maximum fine of $500 000 and/or life imprisonment.

Less than commercial quantities

If the quantity of drug is lower than the commercial quantity, then the penalty for a basic offence is a maximum fine of $50 000 and/or imprisonment for 10 years.

The penalty for an aggravated offence is a maximum fine of $75 000 and/or imprisonment for 15 years.

For example:

Controlled Drug Large Commercial Quantity Commercial Quantity
MDMA .75kg (pure)/1kg (mixed) 0.1kg (pure)/0.5kg (mixed)
Cannabis 2kg (pure)/12.5kg (mixed) 1kg (pure)/2.5kg (mixed)
Heroin 0.75kg (pure)/1kg (mixed) 0.1kg (pure)/0.2kg (mixed)0.1kg (pure)/0.2kg (mixed)
LSD 0.015 kg 0.005 kg

For these and other quantities see the Controlled Substances (Controlled Drugs, Precursors and Plants) Regulations 2014 (SA).

Further definition of manufacture, cultivation and sale

Persons take part in manufacture, cultivation or sale if they:

  • take or cause any step to be taken in the process
  • provide or arrange finance for a step in the process
  • provide or permit premises to be used
  • guard or conceal drugs or related materials or equipment
  • store drugs or related materials or equipment
  • carry, transport, load or unload
  • package
  • buy plants, equipment, substances or materials.

All of these actions are punished in the same way as the manufacture, cultivation or sale offences.

Penalties in relation to controlled precursors

The penalties for selling or manufacturing controlled precursors (the chemicals needed to make some controlled drugs) are also dependant on the amount of precursor involved.

Basic offences involving large commercial quantities attract a maximum fine of $200 000 and/or imprisonment for 25 years. Aggravated offences of manufacturing precursors involving large commercial quantities attract a maximum fine of $500 000 and/or imprisonment for life.

Basic offences involving commercial quantities attract a maximum fine of $75 000 and/or imprisonment for 15 years. Aggravated offences involving commercial quantities of precursors attract a maximum fine of $200 000 and/or imprisonment for 25 years.

Any amounts below these for a basic offence attract the maximum penalty of $50 000 and/or imprisonment of 10 years, or for an aggravated offence, a maximum penalty of $75 000 and/or imprisonment of 15 years.

Manufacture, Cultivation and Sale  :  Last Revised: Mon Aug 3rd 2015
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.