Cultivation, Harvesting or Processing of Marijuana (Health & Safety Code § 11358)

Cultivation, Harvesting or Processing of Marijuana ("Cultivation") is the unlawful planting, growing, harvesting, processing or drying of marijuana plants without or in excess of a medical prescription or doctor's recommendation.

Cultivation is felony and the cultivating of even one marijuana plant is enough to constitute a violation.

If you or someone you care about is facing a drug or marijuana charge, the criminal defense attorneys at the Weinrieb Law Firm can help explain the charges and properly defend against them. We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555.

Punishments and Drug Treatment for Cultivation, Harvesting or Processing of Marijuana

Cultivation, Harvesting or Processing of Marijuana is a felony punishable by 16 months, 2 or 3 years in state prison.

As an alternative to a state prison sentence, a defendant charged with Cultivation may qualify for a drug treatment program if the marijuana was cultivated entirely for personal use and not for sale. If so, the following programs may apply:

Penal Code § 1000 Drug Diversion

Under Penal Code section 1000 Drug Diversion, the defendant pleads "guilty" to the cultivation charge. Entry of judgment against the defendant on the guilty plea is then deferred (not entered by the court) while the defendant attends a qualifying drug treatment program. If the defendant successfully completes the program, and any other conditions imposed by the court, the case is then dismissed in its entirety (even though the defendant had previously entered a guilty plea).

To be eligible for Drug Diversion, the following requirements must be met:

  • Defendant has no prior convictions for any controlled substance offense
  • Defendant has not had probation or parole revoked in any prior case without later completing the probation or parole
  • Defendant has not been granted Drug Diversion in the previous 5 years
  • The Defendant has no felony convictions within the previous 5 Years
  • The current charges do not involve violence
  • The current charges do not include another drug violation charge that does not qualify for Drug Diversion (for example, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs)

Proposition 36

Under Proposition 36, the defendant pleads "guilty" to the cultivation charge, is placed on probation, and must complete one year of drug treatment and 6 months of after-care. If the defendant successfully completes the rehabilitation program and any other terms of probation, the charges may then be dismissed by the court.

To be eligible for Proposition 36, the following requirements must be met:

  • The current charge is for non-violent drug possession for personal use
  • Defendant has no "violent" or "serious" felony convictions within the previous 5 years
  • Defendant is not convicted in the same case for any misdemeanor or felony that is not a non-violent drug possession charge
  • Defendant has not refused drug treatment as part of Proposition 36 probation
  • Defendant has not already participated at least twice in Proposition 36 or another drug treatment program AND the court determines that drug treatment is ineffective to treat the defendant
Defenses To Cultivation, Harvesting or Processing of Marijuana Charges

Potential defenses to a Cultivation, Harvesting or Processing of Marijuana charge will depend on the facts of the case, but may include:

  • Lawful Medical Marijuana Cultivation – Defendant's cultivation was lawful pursuant to California's Medical Marijuana Law (Proposition 215)
  • Lack of Evidence – In some cases, it may be difficult to prove that the defendant, rather than someone else, grew the marijuana: possessing marijuana does not prove that the defendant cultivated it
  • Unlawful Search and Seizure – Law enforcement found the marijuana as part of an unlawful search or seizure of Defendant's person or premises under his control.

Contact Us

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal investigation or criminal charges of any type, please contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Weinrieb Law Firm. We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555, or through the confidential and secure email form on the firm's website at www.VWattorneys.com.

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