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Marijuana grower who claimed to deal drug only to cancer patients faces prison

Bradley Hindmarsh grew 396 marijuana plants inside a Riverstone warehouse.

A MAN who claimed he was only growing marijuana to give to cancer patients has been jailed for up to five years after a judge decided he was less Robin Hooch and more the Share-Spliff of Nottingham.

Bradley Hindmarsh grew 396 marijuana plants worth $1.4 million inside a warehouse at Riverstone in Sydney’s northwest and pleaded guilty to cultivating a large commercial quantity of the drug.

From the moment he was arrested to when he was sentenced in court, Mr Hindmarsh’s explanation was that he harvested the drug for medicinal reasons to give to people suffering from debilitating illnesses, including cancer and HIV.

The Sunday Telegraph’s front page from the 17th of January 2016.

But Penrith District Court Judge Stephen Hanley didn’t buy the story and sentenced him to between two-and-a-half and five years in jail. An appeal has been lodged. The sentence came despite several of Hindmarsh’s “customers” giving evidence that the cannabis he had provided to them or their associates had positive effects, including alleviating their suffering. Hindmarsh’s lawyers also pointed to changes in recent NSW and federal legislation that will legalise the production of cannabis for medicinal use. In sentencing, Judge Hanley said while he believed Mr Hindmarsh was producing the cannabis for altruistic reasons, he also believed he was supplying it for commercial gain. The father of three from Galston, an experienced horticulturist who runs a plant nutrient formula company, claimed he didn’t profit from the illegal operation. Earlier this year, Mr Hindmarsh said: “People who need medicinal marijuana should have access to proper, clean marijuana, which I have the ability to grow. “I can grow it because I have all of the hardware from my business … I felt like it was the right thing to do. ”In exchange for enough cannabis to last the recipient for a number of weeks, Mr Hindmarsh said he received donations of about $100 to fund his operation. People he gave the cannabis to suffer from illnesses ranging from cancer to HIV. Others had chronic conditions, including insomnia, arthritis and back pain. Mr Hindmarsh said he grew so many plants because of his low success rate in getting the best “cannabinoid profile” — the plants’ chemical make-up — for it to be used to reduce pain.

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