It's an issue on the cusp of reform in Canberra. But what Ryan Franzi did was the "antithesis" of a scientific approach, a court has heard.
Over several months in 2015, the Braddon naturopath bought marijuana from a client and manufactured tetrahydracannabinol (THC) in oil and tinctures for himself, his daughter and his clients.
Since Franzi, 39, was charged last year, the ACT government has announced it would launch a medical cannabis scheme, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration said medical cannabis would become legal in November, but strictly controlled.
However, manufacturing cannabis products remained a crime.
Franzi, who started but didn't finish a bachelor of biotechnology, had a lack of knowledge and qualifications that made his approach the "antithesis" of a controlled medical cannabis trial, Justice John Burns said in sentencing on Thursday.
The Braddon naturopath pleaded guilty to four charges, including supplying cannabis to a child, trafficking cannabis, and manufacturing the controlled substance THC in oil and tinctures.
He has avoided any jail time for the offences, after Justice Burns sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment fully suspended, and imposed an 18 month good behaviour order.
The court heard Franzi had taken cannabis products himself after suffering an accident. He believed his temporary blindness was cured by the products he bought online, though accepted he couldn't be sure it was the cannabis that cured him.
Worried about the quality of products online, he bought cannabis through a client at his father's naturopath clinic on Torrens Street in Braddon and began crafting the products himself.
Believing it would help his daughter sleep and improve her eyesight, he gave the products to her too, but she later complained to police of not being able to sleep and suffering headaches.
"This was something of an unusual case," Justice Burns said.
Justice Burns accepted the man was not motivated by financial rewards, though he made some profit. He accepted Franzi believed medical cannabis would soon be legalised and it would be appropriate to get in "on the ground floor".
While his approach was "highly unscientific", there was little risk in Franzi continuing to take the products himself, but unfortunately he did not stop there, Justice Burns said.
And the effect the products were having on others, including on an adolescent child, were unknown, he said.
The court heard Franzi had no previous convictions.
He declined to comment outside court.
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