A pensioner was growing cannabis worth $240,000 because his pension was not enough and he "needed the money to survive", the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

Maurice David Didham, aged 72, had 200 four-week-old cannabis plants growing in his bathroom last August.

The potential return was $240,000, prosecutor Sergeant Tom Scouller said. Police found 657g of dried cannabis worth around $6900.

Didham told police he was growing the cannabis because his pension was not enough. He admitted cultivating cannabis and possessing cannabis for the purpose of sale and was bailed until March 21.