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CANNABIS INDUSTRY 

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Drug Act Still in Play as W Cape Man Gets Sentenced for Hydroponic Grow Op

Drug Act Still in Play as W Cape Man Gets Sentenced for Hydroponic Grow Op

Cannabis is to be removed from the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act of 2020 but right now the law says you cannot grow the plant for anything other than personal use without a license. A 46 year-old Western Cape man has been found guilty under the Act for running a hydroponic grow op, but will avoid jail time.

Sibuliso Duba for IOL News

29 August 2023 at 05:00:00

This report was first published in IOL News on 29 August 2023


A Western Cape man has been sentenced for running a hydroponic laboratory. He was found with 35 cannabis plants growing under a tent with lights and fans at his home.


The Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday sentenced and convicted Peter Charles Cooke, 46, of four years imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five years on the condition he is not convicted of contravention of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act.


READ: Cannabis to be dropped from the Drugs Act entirely.


He was further sentenced to a fine of R30,000 or two years imprisonment.


Cooke’s sentence comes after he was arrested in June 2021, after the Hawks team reacted to information that was received about a suspect who was managing a hydroponic lab in his house.

The National Intervention Unit and the Hawks reacted swiftly, discovered a hydroponic laboratory, and seized 35 cannabis plants growing under a tent with lights and fans.


"They also seized loose cannabis, cannabis powder, syringes containing cannabis CBD oil, and more CBD oil in glass bottles and capsules," Hawks spokesperson Warrant Officer Zinzi Hani said.


"The value was established to be approximately R80,000. Cooke was arrested and was later released on R30,000 bail.


"Cooke was sentenced to a term of four years imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five years on condition he is not convicted of contravention of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act," Hani said.


He was further sentenced to a fine of R30,000 or two years imprisonment.


The provincial head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in the Western Cape, Major General Mathipa Makgato, praised the Bellville-based Hawks' South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (Saneb) team for their sterling fact-finding skills that led to the successful sentencing of Cooke.


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