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Inside the operations of a daring small-scale ganja farmer in Nairobi

By Joseph Ndunda December 21st, 2023 2 min read

Encountering the inner workings of a marijuana farmer’s operations is a rare occurrence.

Nevertheless, law enforcement apprehended a bold small-scale cannabis cultivator who, having planted over 160 cannabis plants in his kitchen garden in Nairobi’s Soweto Estate, has entered a guilty plea to charges related to the cultivation of prohibited plants.

Peter Ndirangu Maina, a 28-year-old bodaboda driver, was arrested at his home where police uprooted the 8.5kg of herbs worth Sh255,000 on December 19.

Maina was subsequently charged with cultivation of the prohibited herb contrary to Section 6 (a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1994.

Police officers on patrol were informed by members of the public that Maina had grown mature bhang trees in his house and visited the house where they found the plants.

The officers found Maina preparing dry leaves harvested from the weed plants for sale, while freshly cut leaves were being dried before being packaged for sale.

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Maina grew the plants in cement bags.

He pleaded guilty before Senior Principal Magistrate Mary Njagi of the Makadara Law Courts.

Police have taken some of the plants to the Government Chemist for analysis to confirm that they are bhang plants before they are tendered in court as evidence in the case.

Maina will remain on remand until 23 January 2024, when the prosecution will present the facts of the case, the bhang plants and the analysis report as exhibits in court.

The law provides that a person convicted of this offence shall be liable to a fine of Sh250,000 or three times the market value of the plant found to be cultivated, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years, or both.

Any person who owns, occupies or is concerned in the management of any premises and allows the premises to be used for the purpose of growing, collecting or producing any prohibited plant is guilty of an offence.

The law states that such offenders shall be liable to a fine of Ksh250,000 or three times the market value of the prohibited plant, whichever is the greater, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.