Grower loses battle to have seized tobacco returned

8:11 pm on 19 November 2017

A Motueka grower has lost his lengthy legal battle to have five tonnes of seized tobacco returned to him.

no caption


The tobacco was seized in 2010 by the Customs Service, because officers suspected it was intended for unlawful manufacture.

Lawrence Jury and another person were jointly convicted in 2012 of manufacturing tobacco, but Mr Jury's conviction, based on his supply of the cured leaf, was later quashed.

An individual can grow tobacco for personal use, and can supply cured leaf to others, but cannot prepare it for smoking on a commercial scale without a licence.

Mr Lawrence argues there was no legal basis for the seizure of the goods.

The High Court last year agreed and ordered Customs to return the five tonnes of tobacco leaf to Mr Jury.

Customs took the matter to the Court of Appeal, which ruled in its favour.

Mr Jury then made an application for leave to appeal, which has now been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

He must also pay Customs costs of $2500.