A man grew his own cannabis plants as the price of the drug had more than doubled, Inverness Sheriff Court heard yesterday.
Hugh O’Neill cultivated three cannabis plants in a cupboard in his flat after buying the seeds over the internet.
Yesterday he pleaded guilty to producing the Class B drug at his home on March 18.
Fiscal depute Ian Smith said police officers obtained a warrant to search the flat after they noticed a smell of cannabis in the communal stairwell and saw a “strong light” coming from the flat.
He said along with the three plants – worth between £100 and £150 each – officers also found two extension lights, a fan, a thermometer, a large lamp and cable, a box containing four bottles of liquid and a quantity of plant pots.
Mr Smith said when O’Neill, of 3 Quayside Court, Inverness, was interviewed he told police officers he had been growing the plants for a few months and had bought the seeds from the internet.
Defence solicitor Craig Wood said his client was a “habitual” user of cannabis.
He said: “He tells me the price of cannabis resin has gone up a great deal, from £20 a quarter (of a gram) to £50 a quarter. He decided to purchase these seeds as an experiment.”
He added that it would have taken O’Neill between one and two weeks to smoke the produce of one plant.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson fined O’Neill £450 and ordered the forfeiture of the cannabis paraphernalia.
She told him: “You don’t have a very good record in relation to drugs offences. I accept that your convictions in relation to drugs are of some vintage.
“Cannabis growing is a serious problem.”