A repeat dope grower caught cultivating nearly $100,000 worth of cannabis commercially inside a garage has been jailed for more than three years.

Trevor James Flood, 53, appeared for sentencing in the Whangarei District Court this week after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of cultivating cannabis.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

Flood's lawyer Kelly Ellis told the court he turned to cannabis cultivation after losing his job and had no money to pay rent and other expenses.

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Judge Murray Hunt said police conducted a search at a house Flood was living in at Raumanga on June 2 and discovered eight constructed bays in the garage in which 303 cannabis plants were grown.

The first crop was small seedlings less than 10cm high and the second was about 88 female plants between 20cm and 30cm high.

He harvested a crop of dried cannabis that was in a plastic bag and weighed 752 grams.

Flood told police he was going to harvest and sell the cannabis in bulk.

Judge Hunt said of concern was Flood's two previous convictions for similar offences.

In 1998, he was sent to jail for three years and six months and in 2005, he was jailed for two years and three months for growing cannabis.

"Those convictions should have been a lesson to you that cultivating cannabis will have serious consequences for you," Judge Hunt said.

Ms Ellis said Flood had health problems which have not been dealt with for two months.

Crown lawyer Jarred Scott said the cannabis Flood cultivated had the potential to yield between $90,000 and $100,000.

There needed to be an uplift in the starting point for his two previous convictions for similar offending, Mr Scott said.

Judge Hunt sentenced him to jail for three years and four months.