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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3833 ..

and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment) (11.34): The government will not be supporting this amendment, nor the related amendment No 8 that Mr Rattenbury will move later. The amendment would have the effect of allowing artificial cultivation of cannabis, such as through hydroponic cultivation or with the application of an artificial source of light or heat.

We acknowledge that the natural cultivation of cannabis may be difficult in our city’s climate—difficult but not impossible. The government does not support artificial cultivation of cannabis. The principal reason here is that the police have ably demonstrated from their investigations that, through artificial cultivation, single plants that are artificially cultivated can fill a three-bedroom home—sometimes even larger.

We understand that this may inconvenience some people. It may mean that cultivation is not straightforward. However, we believe, on balance, that the risk is too great to allow artificial cultivation. The focus of our reforms, as I have stressed on numerous occasions, is on small, individual users, not large-scale or sophisticated production. The government supports police being able to make a clear distinction between cultivation for personal use and cultivation for large-scale or commercial purposes by criminal operators. For those reasons, we will not be supporting this amendment.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.36): The opposition will not be supporting the amendment. I agree with the government in this regard. The use of hydroponic methods to grow cannabis can lead to some extraordinarily oversized plants that clearly go beyond the scope of personal use. We do not want to see—although it has now been limited to four plants per house—a situation where, grown hydroponically, you could create a pretty sizeable crop, which is clearly not in anyone’s best interest.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.37): Just as a matter of factual information, it is possible to grow large plants hydroponically or non-hydroponically. That is not a distinguishing feature in terms of size.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 2

Noes 15

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Barr

Ms Lawder

Mr Rattenbury

Ms J Burch

Mr Milligan

Ms Cheyne

Ms Orr

Mr Coe

Mr Pettersson

Mr Gupta

Mr Steel

Mr Hanson

Ms Stephen-Smith

Mrs Jones

Mr Wall

Mrs Kikkert

Question resolved in the negative.

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