A 28-year-old man who was growing 56 cannabis plants claimed only 10 of them were his, a court heard.
Jamie Hunton said the plants were stunted and had mould on them.
The prosecution accepted the plants were not in the best state and some of them were decomposing.
Cultivation had ended although experts described some of them as healthy.
Burnley Crown Court was told Hunton claimed the growing system was set up by somebody else and only 10 of the plants were his.
Judge Beverley Lunt said a trial over the facts would have to be held and the defendant was bailed until October 25.
Hunton, of Church Street, Bacup, admitted producing cannabis between last December and January this year.