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How to Legally Purchase Cannabis Seeds in the United States

By Kellie Pantekoek, Esq. | Reviewed by Bridget Molitor, JD | Last updated April 21, 2020

Thinking about starting your own cannabusiness? You are not alone. From CBD to medical marijuana to edibles, legal cannabis has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, with few signs of slowing down any time soon.

If your business will include cannabis growing or cultivation, then you are probably wondering how to get your hands on weed seeds. legally. Before taking that step, though, make sure your business has the necessary license to operate legally in your state.

First and Foremost: Know Your State Laws

State law governs if and how you can operate your cannabis growing business, and each state takes a slightly different approach. Your state may offer a large number of permits with few prerequisites, a small number of permits with an extensive application process, or something in between.

Here are a couple of other factors to keep in mind about the legality of cannabis seeds:

  • State law treats growing marijuana for selling purposes differently from growing marijuana for personal use. Your state may allow you to grow a limited number of cannabis plants for personal use without a license. For example, Colorado residents over age 21 can grow up to six plants, with as many as three plants flowering at one time.
  • Cannabis seeds can often be purchased legally for uses other than growing marijuana such as fishing bait, bird food, and preservation. The government recognizes that cannabis seeds have other uses beyond just growing more marijuana.

In addition to studying your state’s regulations, you should also join local cannabusiness groups and meet with aВ local cannabis business attorneyВ for assistance. There is no such thing as going into the marijuana business too prepared. Once you are ready to take the step of legally buying cannabis seeds, you have a few options to choose from.

It’s Best to Shop Local, but Buying Online Is an Option

If you live in a state that permits the sale of marijuana seeds, your best bet is to shop locally for high-quality seeds. This means visiting a dispensary, local farmers market, or seed company in your state to make your purchase. There, you can get the in-person help you need to make your purchase legally.

It is also an option to buy cannabis seeds online from an online seed bank and then have the seeds shipped to you, so long as you are abiding by state law. The risk here is that your package could still be confiscated. While it is unlikely that you would face criminal charges, there is no guarantee because of the way federal law treats marijuana products.

Can I Buy Cannabis Seeds in Other States or Countries?

You shouldn’t have any trouble buying cannabis seeds in another state or country if it’s legal there. It’s bringing the seeds back to your home state that can get you into trouble.

In the United States, cannabis seeds cannot cross state lines because marijuana products are still illegal under federal law. Though rare, transporting the products across state lines could result in federal criminal charges. This is true even if you are purchasing cannabis seeds in a state that authorizes it and entering a state that also authorizes it.

The same is true for buying cannabis seeds in another country. It may sound like a great idea to buy cannabis seeds while visiting one of the world-renowned marijuana seed banks that exist in places such as the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. But when you re-enter the U.S. with your goods, Customs and Border Protection will seize any seeds they find, even if your plane landed in a state where they are legal. Again, it goes back to marijuana being illegal under federal law.

How Much Do Cannabis Seeds Cost?

How much you will pay for cannabis seeds depends on the strain of marijuana you buy. Typically, a pack of 10 or 12 seeds starts at around $40. You can expect to pay up to $500 for high-end strains. Again, it is important to only buy cannabis seeds from a legal and reputable seed bank or dispensary — and only if you know you are abiding by state law.

Legal Help for Cannabusiness Entrepreneurs

Cannabis law is an ever-evolving tangle of state and federal regulations that often contradict one another. Additionally, the cannabis industry is very new, and still illegal under federal law. For these reasons, it’s important to seek the advice of a business attorney well-versed in cannabis law so that your venture starts out on the right track and you avoid legal problems.

Many cannabis business owners wonder how to legally purchase cannabis seeds in the U.S. and beyond. Find your answers here at FindLaw.

Are Cannabis Seeds Legal?

Are cannabis seeds legal? The marijuana industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States. However, state and federal cannabis laws often contradict each other. Due to the complicated nature of these laws, most beginner cannabis growers might be wondering whether cannabis seeds are legal countrywide. This article will cover everything cannabis growers need to know about how and where to buy cannabis seeds legally from US seed banks.

Are Cannabis Seeds Legal in the United States?

Ungerminated cannabis seeds are legal in the United States as they are not considered drugs. The government recognizes that people can purchase seeds for other uses such as bird food, fishing bait, preservation, and as souvenirs (and not necessarily for growing marijuana). However, cannabis products are illegal under federal law. There is a lot of confusion around are cannabis seeds legal and today we hope to shed some light on this topic.

So Are Cannabis Seeds Legal?

But are cannabis seeds legal in all the states? The simple answer is yes. Anyone can buy cannabis seeds or “weed seeds” throughout all of the United States. However, each state has different laws, and in some states, cannabis is strictly illegal. There are some states where cannabis growers require licenses to grow cannabis for commercial purposes and allow the growing of a limited number of cannabis plants for personal use without approval. Therefore, growers must have licenses to buy cannabis seeds legally.

Where to Purchase Cannabis Seeds

There are many US seed banks. Seed banks have a variety of seeds from different breeders. It is easy to buy seeds from local seed banks. If a grower buys seeds from a state where cannabis seeds are legal, there are zero chances of facing legal repercussions.

There are also many world-renowned seed banks in Europe and other countries. As such, cannabis growers and other people interested in cannabis seeds can order them online.

When buying from seed banks outside the US, the Customs and Border Protection could seize any seeds they find even if they come from a country where cannabis seeds are legal. Growers should ensure that they buy seeds from a reputable seed bank when they are buying online. The seed bank should be capable of shipping to various states and know how to ship discretely to prevent detection and confiscation of the seeds.

Types of Cannabis Seeds

There are three main types of cannabis seeds: regular, autoflowering, and feminized cannabis seeds. However, the answer to the question “Are cannabis seeds legal?” depends on the location of the buyer.

Regular Cannabis Seeds

Regular seeds are produced naturally by a female plant and a male plant. There is a 50 percent chance that the seeds will produce male plants and a 50 percent chance that they will be female. However, male cannabis seeds are not as valuable because they will not produce buds rich in cannabinoids (though they are useful for breeding). Regular seeds also have more robust genetics and provide superior clones. Moreover, they are more tolerant of stress and show explosive growth.

Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Feminized seeds produce only female plants. As such, female cannabis seeds produce buds that are rich in cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. Moreover, they are often photoperiod plants, which means they flower depending on the daylight and darkness hours. Using feminized seeds eliminates the unnecessary work of maintaining male plants. Feminized seeds give abundant, high-quality yields.

Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds

Autoflowering seeds produce plants that flower automatically. Plants grown from autoflowering seeds automatically shift from the vegetative state to the flowering stage when they reach a certain age. This is starkly different from photoperiod-dependent cannabis plants that depend on the ratio of light to dark hours. Autoflowering seeds can produce multiple harvests in one season as they have a faster life cycle. They are most suitable for beginner growers because they are easy to maintain, but are also quite beneficial for those who have smaller growing environments, as well. They are resilient and can survive in harsh weather and extreme temperatures. Autoflowering seeds produce plants that give poor quality clones and buds with low THC content.

Bottom Line: Are Cannabis Seeds Legal?

So, are cannabis seeds legal? The bottom line is that cannabis seeds are not drugs and do not contain any narcotic components. However, marijuana plants can grow from the seeds. In some states where cannabis is illegal, people can buy feminized seeds if they don’t intend to grow cannabis plants from them. The complicated nature of cannabis laws means there are no guarantees on the legality of cannabis seeds in these states.

Please feel free to contact us with questions about the legality of cannabis seeds in your state. You can also check out our top-tier cannabis seeds.

Are cannabis seeds legal? The answer is quite involved given that state and federal cannabis laws often contradict each other.