A 57-year-old man admitted making £20,000 from growing cannabis.
Christopher Cleghorn, formerly of Moor Lane, Whitburn, produced 140 ounces of the drug, South Northumbria Magistrates Court heard.
“This was growing on a commercial scale,” said Paul Anderson, prosecuting. “Mr Cleghorn admitted to police in interview he had made £20,000 from the enterprise.
“Sentencing guidelines suggest a starting point of four years, which is clearly outside the powers of this court.”
Cleghorn, now of Front Street, Leadgate, near Consett, admitted producing a class B drug at South Shields between December, 2014, and February, 2016.
The bench ordered the case to be sent to Newcastle Crown Court to be heard on February 28.
Cleghorn was bailed on condition he attends court on that date,