A qualified horticulturist who was found growing €34,000 worth of cannabis plants has claimed it was for his own personal use.
Aidan Kerins of Bridge Street, Kenmare is charged with cultivating cannabis without a licence and with possession of cannabis.
Judge James O’Connor declined jurisdiction and adjourned the matter to the February 6th sitting of Kenmare District Court for service of the book of evidence. Gardai raided the accused man’s home at Bridge Street, Kenmare on foot of a search warrant, where they discovered 43 cannabis plants at various stages of maturity. Tralee District Court heard 20 of the plants were mature and ready to be harvested and had an estimated value of €16,000. The remaining 23 immature plants were worth an estimated €18,400. They also found a quantity of dried cannabis worth over €230. The 45-year-old trained horticulturist claimed the cannabis was for his own use and he was growing it for medicinal purposes. His solicitor David Ramsay said the the drugs were not for supply. Garda Kevin Walsh of the drugs squad said they were satisfied the cannabis was for Mr Kerin’s personal use and they accepted he had a bad addiction and used between five and seven grammes a day. However, he said a number of people were seen coming and going from the house that were known cannabis users. The court heard there was no weighing equipment found at the house.