Manufacturing drugs

It is an offence to manufacture, or to take part in the manufacture of, a prohibited drug. The maximum penalty for manufacture of a prohibited drug depends on the quantity involved, with the same penalties applying as for supply offences involving comparable amounts.

Possession of precursors

It is an offence to possess a 'precursor' intended to be used in the manufacture of a prohibited drug. Substances defined as precursors are listed in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Regulation 2021 (NSW). The Regulation also provides that, for legitimate uses, records must be kept for any storage or supply of precursors, including an end user certificate declaration which includes the name and address and proof of identity of the end user.

Knowingly take part in cultivation, manufacture or supply

It is an offence to 'knowingly take part in' the supply, cultivation, or manufacture of a prohibited drug or plant.

'Taking part in' manufacture, cultivation, or supply is defined to mean:

  • the person takes, or participates in, any step, or causes any step to be taken in the process of manufacture, cultivation or supply; or
  • the person provides or arranges finance for any step in that process; or
  • the person provides the premises in which any step in that process is taken, or allows any step in the process to be taken in premises owned, leased, occupied or managed by the person.

A person may be considered to be taking part in supply, for example, if they arrange or provide finance or provide premises, or allow their premises to be used for selling or distributing or growing drugs. It would also include making a telephone call to arrange a meeting or allowing their house to be used for a meeting at which supplying drugs is discussed.

The participation must be done 'knowingly'. Proof that a person suspected that somebody else might involved in drug offences is not proof of knowledge, but knowledge may be inferred if someone shuts their eyes to suspicious circumstances.

Similarly, the word 'permits' means the owner or controller of the premises knew or had grounds for reasonable suspicion that the premises would be used by someone for that purpose, and was unwilling to take reasonable measures to prevent it.

Drug premises

Drug premises are premises used for the supply or manufacture of prohibited drugs or the commercial indoor cultivation of cannabis.

It is an offence to be found on or entering or leaving drug premises. It is also an offence for an owner or other occupier to allow property to be used as drug premises, or for a person to organise or conduct drug premises, or to assist in the conduct of drug premises (for example, as a lookout or door attendant).

Any place where there are five or more indoor cannabis plants being grown for profit is capable of being a drug premises, exposing occupants and visitors to prosecution for offences such as entering or being on drug premises.