In Queensland, the offence of producing dangerous drugs most commonly relates to cannabis and methyl-amphetamine (speed and ice).

The legal definition of ‘produce’ is very broad. It includes:

  • preparing, manufacturing, cultivating, packaging or producing
  • offering to do any of the above
  • doing or offering to do any act in preparation, in furtherance or for the purpose of any of the acts above.


For commercial production of Schedule 1 drugs, the maximum penalty is 25 years of imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for producing Schedule 2 drugs (such as cannabis) is 15 years of imprisonment.

The type of penalty you’ll receive depends on many factors, including:

  • the type of drug (i.e. Schedule 1 or Schedule 2)
  • whether the production was for commercial or personal use
  • whether you were a ‘drug-dependent person’ at the time of the offence
  • the level of planning and organisation associated with your offending
  • whether you plead guilty or are convicted after a trial
  • your personal circumstances, including your age, employment, family circumstances, remorse and efforts at rehabilitation
  • which court hears the charge (Magistrates, District or Supreme Court).


Every case is different, and the best defence strategy depends on the evidence and facts.

It may be possible to argue you are not guilty of the charge on the basis that:

  • you were not engaged in producing dangerous drugs (i.e. your actions did not amount to the legal definition of production)
  • the production was authorised, justified or excused by law
  • you were acting under duress
  • the thing produced was not a dangerous drug.

It may also be possible to negotiate with the prosecution to reduce or downgrade the charge. 

Seek legal advice to determine which defences may apply to your case.

Find support

If you or a family member need help or advice about drug abuse or addiction, we recommend contacting Queensland Health’s Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 177 833. 

It’s a free, 24/7 service that provides information, support and referrals.

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