Growing in Australia Capital Territory

The Australia Capital Territory, or ACT for short, is the federal district of Australia. It includes the capital city of Australia, Canberra.  Unlike other parts of Australia, this area isn’t a state, it’s a territory. That means it has slightly different laws and regulations than other Australian states. Let’s take a look at what those laws are, especially concerning how they relate to growing marijuana in the Australia Capital Territory.

Australian marijuana laws

With the state of Victoria leading the way in terms of the legalization of medical marijuana in Australia, the federal government finally changed the 1967 Narcotic Drugs Act. This means Australia allows medical marijuana.  However, the Australian states have slightly different laws, especially when it comes to how patients can be prescribed medical marijuana.

In the ACT specifically, qualifying conditions allow the use of medical marijuana. These are classified as “category 6 illnesses” and include multiple sclerosis with spasms, nausea, and vomiting from chemotherapy, pain or anxiety in a terminal case, or refractory paediatric epilepsy. This is stricter than some other states, which often function more on a case-by-case basis and don’t have strictly defined categories.

Australian marijuana laws
Australian marijuana laws – Image powered by

However, a certain type of medical marijuana does not need the same approval process and can, therefore, be used for other ailments. For example, cannabidiol has 2% or less of any other cannabinoids and is a differently classed medicine. It, therefore, requires no authorization from the Australia Capital Territory.

Meanwhile, recreational marijuana remains illegal altogether. That is not to say that no one uses it, of course. In fact, it is a commonly used drug — one in three Australians admit that they have at least tried it once. Despite this, both local and national laws ban the use of recreational marijuana. Some places have effectively decriminalized recreational marijuana. In those areas, offenders receive a minor fine rather than jail time and a criminal record.

Australia Capital Territory information

The ACT can be a little surprising because it is not as strict as you might imagine for a national capital territory. Although recreational marijuana remains illegal, in the ACT the penalties are less strict. Even if you are caught with small amounts of marijuana, you likely won’t receive a criminal record for it.

Simply put, possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana in the nation’s capital will most likely not lead to a criminal record. For the most part, this means decriminalization. However, the neighboring state of New South Wales could actually throw you in jail for that amount — so it’s important to keep in mind how much marijuana you have, and where you are!

Australia Capital Territory information
Australia Capital Territory information – Image powered by

The ACT is the federal district of Australia known exclusively for its capital city and the capital of Australia as a whole, Canberra. You might think of Australia as hot year-round, but in fact, this is not the case in certain parts. Canberra (and the ACT in general) is one of those exceptions. It is elevated more than 2,000 feet above sea level and isn’t particularly close to the coast, meaning it has four very distinct seasons.

In general, the ACT experiences hot, dry summers and fairly cold winters that include frost quite often. Some of the mountains are often snow-capped throughout the winter. Canberra and the ACT are located in the southeastern part of Australia.

Specific growing laws

It is illegal to give, distribute, possess, or cultivate marijuana in the ACT. When it comes to growing marijuana, you’re not even allowed to assist in any part of the growing process. However, many cannabis-related penalties are not particularly strict — especially when compared with the surrounding states.

Possession of a small amount of marijuana, for example, might incur a $100 fine. This applies to “simple cannabis offenses.” For other offenses, such as distributing to minors or possessing larger amounts the penalty could be huge. Your fine could be as high as $250,000 and you may face life in prison. Therefore,  you should only grow small amounts, and probably keep it to yourself.

Specific growing laws
Specific growing laws – Image powered by

You should only grow two plants in the ACT. This is the most you could get away with without facing serious penalties. They should be grown outdoors. If you utilize any “artificial” setting or grow hydroponically, there are heavier penalties. It should also be very clear that those are your personal plants and that you aren’t sharing them with anyone else. If you are caught with your plant, it is not a big deal. As long as you pay this fine in time (two months), there is no mark on your record.

Growing marijuana in Australia, even in the Capital Territory, is possible, but you’ll need to be creative. Do your research and understand your risks, but most of all – have fun.

FAQ About Growing in Australia Capital Territory

Where can I learn about marijuana laws in other parts of Australia?

We’ve written plenty of articles on marijuana in Australia. You can find all of them here.

What kind of marijuana grows best in the ACT?

The ACT has mild summers, fairly dry conditions, and very cold winters. Here are some strains that I recommend.

How much marijuana can one plant yield?

Even if you play it safe and grow a single plant, you can still yield up to 500 grams. Learn how in this article.

Happy growing!

Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing lead him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]


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    2 comments on “Growing in Australia Capital Territory”

    1. It should also be mentioned that temperatures plunge to 0 deg C from march to october at night and often have subzero temps in the winter months. Marijuana cannot be successfully grown in these temps therefore indoor growing during these months must be indoors. The summer months can reach extreme temperatures of 40+ deg c. It has also been known to snow during december and january on isolated days. It is usual to get false season changes where it gets hot toward summer then dip into winter like conditions for a period of time from a few days to a few weeks, the opposite is also true coming into the winter months.
      Australia also conducts aerial Surveillance to detect unusual conditions such as hot spots or tHC detection devices.