A coastal Taranaki man grew cannabis in tents as a means to treat his chronic back pain.
Frederik Johannes Pieter Neuhaus appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Monday for sentencing on a charge of cultivating cannabis.
Defence lawyer Megan Boyd said her client had set up a "rotating crop" which would ensure he had a "year round harvest" for his own use.
She said Neuhaus had ongoing back pain and associated muscle tension and though he had been prescribed codeine by his doctor, this had not been effective.
"He had been to the pain management clinic and tried various options to manage his pain but nothing has given him relief," she said.
She said due to the "patchy" reception in the rural area where he lived in Okato, this ruled out any form of electronic monitoring but Neuhaus was able to complete a term of community work if he was given light duties to do.
Sergeant Lewis Sutton sought a forfeiture order for the growing equipment found on Neuhaus' property.
Judge Chris Sygrove said during the police search of the man's property a cannabis growing room was found.
The room, which was lockable and fitted out with growing lights, had two tents set up inside, the judge said.
In one of the tents, 41 plants were growing, measuring between 50-600 millimetres in height.
The other tent housed nine plants, which each measured about 1 metre in height.
Police also found a small amount of dried cannabis and a pipe in the house, Sygrove said.
Sygrove said it was accepted the defendant had grown the cannabis for his own and there was no evidence of supply.
While the charge Neuhaus faced carried a maximum penalty of seven years jail, Sygrove imposed a sentence of 150 hours of community work.
He also granted the forfeiture order.