Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Grower says 46 dope plants for his own use

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A Tauranga judge poured scorn on a Welcome Bay man's claims that he grew 46 dope plants, with an estimated valued up to $230,000 when harvested, for his personal use.

Max Kiwi-Millman, 28, pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivates cannabis when he appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday.

At 2.06pm on February 21 a police spotter plane involved in the national cannabis recovery programme called Operation Dee located cannabis plants growing at the rear of Kiwi-Millman's dwelling at Rocky Cutting Rd.

Twenty-five plants maybe, but no judge is ever going to seriously accept that 46 plants, which is a significant number, as being for personal use.
Judge Ingram

Police found and seized 46 cannabis plants that were about 1m tall.

They were described as being in a "good healthy condition".

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Shortly after that Kiwi-Millman arrived home and freely admitted to police the plants belonged to him.

Police calculated that the yield from the 46 plants producing about one pound of cannabis head material would be valued at between $161,000 to $230,000.

Kiwi-Millman, who is a first time offender before the courts, told police the dope plants were for personal use.

Police considered the amount being grown was to a commercial level.

His lawyer Kaye Davies told Judge Thomas Ingram that her client disputed the police's calculations of what the plants would have yielded and insisted the cannabis was for personal use.

Judge Ingram told Kiwi-Millman: "Twenty-five plants maybe, but no judge is ever going to seriously accept that 46 plants, which is a significant number, as being for personal use. I think you should go away and think about that Mr Kiwi-Millman."

The judge remanded him on bail pending sentencing on May 13.

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