Permitting premises to be used

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, s.8
Effective from: 27 February 2012

Triable either way unless the defendant could receive the minimum sentence of seven years for a third drug trafficking offence under section 110 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 in which case the offence is triable only on indictment.

Class A

Maximum: 14 years’ custody

Offence range: Community order – 4 years’ custody

A class A offence is a drug trafficking offence for the purpose of imposing a minimum sentence under section 110 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000

Class B

Maximum: 14 years’ custody

Offence range: Fine – 18 months’ custody

Class C

Maximum: 14 years’ custody

Offence range: Discharge – 26 weeks’ custody

User guide for this offence


Step 1 – Determining the offence category

The court should determine the offender’s culpability and the harm caused (extent of the activity and/or the quantity of drugs) with reference to the table below.

In assessing harm, quantity is determined by the weight of the product. Purity is not taken into account at step 1 but is dealt with at step 2.

Category 1 Higher culpability and greater harm
Category 2 Lower culpability and greater harm; or higher culpability and lesser harm
Category 3 Lower culpability and lesser harm

Factors indicating culpability (non-exhaustive)

Higher culpability:

  • Permits premises to be used primarily for drug activity, for example crack house
  • Permits use in expectation of substantial financial gain
  • Uses legitimate business premises to aid and/or conceal illegal activity, for example public house or club

Lower culpability:

  • Permits use for limited or no financial gain
  • No active role in any supply taking place
  • Involvement through naivety

Factors indicating harm (non-exhaustive)

Greater harm: – Regular drug-related activity – Higher quantity of drugs, for example:

  • heroin, cocaine – more than 5g;
  • cannabis – more than 50g.

Lesser harm: – Infrequent drug-related activity – Lower quantity of drugs, for example:

  • heroin, cocaine – up to 5g;
  • cannabis – up to 50g.