The Cairns Post

Jail for drug business


A FAR North businessma­n at the helm of a sophistica­ted mail order trade selling the drug cannabidio­l (CBD) has been jailed in a landmark sentence imposed by the Cairns District Court.

Christophe­r Steven Bowtell pleaded guilty to possession and traffickin­g of prohibited Schedule 2 drug cannabidio­l for 12 months between March 1, 2019 and March 17, 2020. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a flick knife and two counts of unlawful possession of prescripti­on drugs.

Crown legal officer Emily Thambyah told the court Mr Bowtell marketed a range of branded products containing CBD through a slick e-commerce style website after sourcing products offshore.

“(He) supplied to a broad customer base and he was not selective (about who he sold to) over the course of the tracking period,” she said. Ms Thambyah said a total profit was “just shy of $170,000.”

“People cannot just go selling CBD oil to whoever they please … whether or not the defendant knew CBD oil was (illegal) is irrelevant, ignorance of the law is no excuse,” she said.

CBD is used to treat anxiety, depression and pain but requires a prescripti­on in Australia. The court heard it was the first time traffickin­g of CBD had been prosecuted. Judge Dean Morzone sentenced Bowtell to 28 months jail, taking into account an early plea and self-medicating with CBD to treat a back injury sustained while serving a five-year stint in the navy.

“You are a remarkable businessma­n,” he said. “By the time you are released (you will) have hatched an entreprene­urial business plan, which will catapult you back into our community.”

April 13, 2022 was set as a parole release date.

 ?? ?? Chris Bowtell admitted traffickin­g drugs.
Chris Bowtell admitted traffickin­g drugs.

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