Can You Legally Buy Cannabis Seeds Online? People who are just starting out in their cannabis growing journey are often concerned about the many legalities surrounding the growing of cannabis. Although an increasing number of states are relaxing restrictions on growing cannabis at home, Washington is not one of them, as of press time. Can you get in trouble for ordering cannabis seeds in the US? Can a potential cannabis grower get in legal trouble for ordering cannabis seeds online to the United States? Where can you safely
Can You Legally Buy Cannabis Seeds Online?
People who are just starting out in their cannabis growing journey are often concerned about the many legalities surrounding the growing of cannabis. Cannabis has developed something of a bad reputation in recent times. This bad reputation is arguably partly to blame for the development of the bad reputation which has left so many people concerned about getting involved with growing their very own cannabis for their own medicinal or recreational use.
Don’t make the mistake of getting on the wrong side of your law with your cannabis growing! Start out right and follow our simple guide to staying within the law—especially when it comes to buying cannabis seeds online.
Why You Might Want to Buy Cannabis Seeds Online
There are many different reasons as to why you might want to buy your cannabis seeds online, instead of buying them in a local store.
Discretion and Privacy
For a start, buying cannabis seeds online usually comes with far more discretion than going into a store. Many people who are just getting started with their cannabis growing experience will want to keep their new hobby a secret, at least to start with—partially because of the poor reputation that cannabis has developed in recent times.
Buying seeds online is a great way for people to keep their cannabis growing a little bit quieter. Online shopping means that you won’t have to publicly go out to buy your seeds, and seeds are always delivered in discreet packaging that does not hint at the contents as well; this all helps to protect your privacy and discretion. For people who are particularly concerned about discretion, seeds can also be delivered in specialized “extra discreet” packaging such as in a shirt or a wallet.
Greater Strain Selection
When it comes to choosing the ideal cannabis seeds for your needs and setup, having a good selection of strains to choose between can be highly beneficial. While most cannabis seed stores and dispensaries will offer a good choice of strains for people to consider, they simply cannot rival the incredible selection that is found online.
Online seed banks can offer as many as thousands of different strains for people to choose between. These strains will vary in their yields, heights, flavors, THC content and purpose, and many other different factors. This can be important if you’re trying to calculate how long will cannabis stay in your system. These online seed banks often offer strains from many different seed breeders, too, further helping to increase the amount of choice that you can have.
This incredible selection is essential for anyone looking to find the perfect seeds for their needs, and so many people want to order their seeds online for this very reason.
Can I Legally Purchase Marijuna Seeds Online?
The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. Indeed, it is perfectly legal for you to buy your marijuana seeds online—provided that you live in one of a select number of states (for United States residents) or countries (for European residents).
In The States
If you live in the United States and want to buy marijuana seeds online, you need to check that doing so is legal in your state. Many people make the mistake of assuming that, because one state does or doesn’t allow people to buy cannabis seeds online, the same rules will apply to every state; in fact, some states allow you to buy online cannabis seeds, while others do not allow you to buy cannabis seeds online. Even in states that have legalized the use of cannabis, the rules can be highly variable; as such, always do your research and check if your state allows cannabis seed sales online.
In The UK
In the UK, it is entirely legal to buy cannabis seeds online. However, there is a catch—while you can buy the seeds online without breaking any rules, the act of actually germinating the seeds that you have purchased is illegal; the same is the case for people who have purchased cannabis seeds “with intent” for growing and germinating these seeds.
The rules surrounding the purchase of cannabis seeds online can vary wildly throughout the different European countries. If you live in Europe, it is thus important that you try to make sense of the many different rules before buying cannabis seeds online.
Germany, for example, is in a rather tricky position: cannabis seeds are not covered by the German Narcotics Act, however, the sale of cannabis seeds in the country is also illegal. The difference is that if you buy cannabis seeds online, you are actually operating on the right side of the law—provided that the seeds come from a country outside of Germany.
Spain, by contrast, is a great country for people looking to grow cannabis seeds. Cannabis seeds can be legally purchased online in the majority of Spanish regions and can be grown and germinated for personal use only.
Cannabis seeds can also be purchased legally online for people living in Italy, who are perfectly entitled to invest in seeds (due to the fact that they are considered to be cultivation equipment). However, these seeds cannot be legally germinated, and if it is suspected that your intention is to do so then you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
In the Netherlands, people are able to buy seeds under a special “ tolerance policy ”, although these seeds can only be germinated in small quantities for personal use. This is similar to how the French see the buying of cannabis seeds online; in France, seeds can be purchased online from other countries, so long as they are not shown in a favorable light and are not grown.
There are a number of different reasons as to why you might want to grow your own cannabis, but it is always important to stay within the rules of the law when doing so. There are many different legalities that must be followed when growing cannabis, and failing to do so will often result in you getting in trouble for something that you really didn’t need to worry about.
Can you buy cannabis seeds?
Although an increasing number of states are relaxing restrictions on growing cannabis at home, Washington is not one of them, as of press time.
While a bill that would allow adults 21 years and older to grow recreational-use cannabis at home has been introduced in the Washington state Legislature, currently the only legal exception for home growing is medical. If you have a Washington medical marijuana card, you can grow a small number of plants without registering, and up to 15 if registered.
If that’s the case, and you’re ready to start planting, where can you find seeds?
The short answer? It’s complicated. Even if you live in California, where it is legal for adults to grow cannabis at home, and you purchase seeds from a California-based seed bank, your package can still be confiscated if mailed.
In fact, you could get in more trouble for buying seeds from within the U.S. than from overseas, which is why the majority of reputable seed banks are in Europe.
How to buy seeds
Even though the United States is one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of cannabis legalization, the herb remains federally illegal. For this reason, it might be best to get your seeds from a friend or buy directly from a licensed shop. However, in these cases, you’ll have limited options that may not be suited to how and what type of cannabis you want to grow.
For more variety you can buy seeds online, although there are risks. Consider having them shipped to a state where growing marijuana at home is legal. That way, if your package gets intercepted, it’s unlikely you will face legal consequences. But you may still face legal jeopardy if you have to cross state lines to bring them home.
You should also make your purchase from a reputable seed bank capable of shipping to numerous states that understands the need for discretion. If the seeds are confiscated, most firms will either send a new package for free or refund your money.
Where to buy seeds
One of the more trustworthy sellers in the United States is I Love Growing Marijuana. Its website features information about growing, what types of seeds you’ll need and more. The website and store are run by Robert Bergman, an expert cultivator, and provides free shipping to customers in the United States and Europe.
Other online marijuana seed sellers in the U.S. may use incorrect labels when shipping, with terms like “luxury bird food” or “fishing bait additives.” Stores also may sell seeds as “collector items” or “additives.”
Another site worth exploring is the Royal Seed Bank from Canada. This site breaks everything down by the legality of each U.S. state and provides a variety of options.
Since most seed banks that offer cannabis seeds source them from seed banks in European countries, you may want to search there too.
Cannabis seeds are not illegal in the European Union, and technically it’s not illegal to purchase seeds from another country. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, a 1962 framework for marijuana legalization, is an international treaty signed by 180 countries stating that marijuana is classified as an illegal substance, but it says nothing about seeds.
Therefore, since international law takes precedence over a country’s own laws, cannabis seeds are technically legal in all 180 countries. However, when a product enters a European country, it becomes subject to that nation’s laws, which means it’s not easy to purchase seeds. For example, here is a look at cannabis seed laws in a few major European nations:
Germany: Seeds do not fall under the German Narcotics Act, so they are technically legal to purchase. Germany has prohibited the sale of cannabis seeds nationwide, but since the country is subject to the EU’s free movement of goods, having seeds sent to Germany is fine.
United Kingdom: At present, the UK allows for the purchase, sale, or trade of cannabis seeds whether you purchase them domestically or from another European nation.
Netherlands: Despite the nation’s relaxed attitude towards marijuana, it is still illegal to possess or purchase. However, you should have no issue purchasing cannabis seeds from a Dutch-based seed company.
Spain: Spain has a similarly lenient policy as the UK. Residents can buy and sell seeds if they are for personal use in private areas.
What to buy
There are three distinct types of cannabis seeds.
Regular seeds come from one female and one male parent and there’s a 50/50 chance that the plant will be the feminized version that will produce buds. However, you have no control of the plant’s gender and there’s always a chance you’ll waste weeks growing, only to learn a male plant will not yield what you’re seeking.
Feminized seeds have no male chromosomes and are guaranteed to provide resinous bud.
Autoflowering seeds are your best option if you want to grow indoors. These seeds have genetics which evolved in northern Eurasia, which makes them strong and sturdy. They are also mixed with cannabis ruderalis, a plant known for its ability to grow in harsh weather conditions.
One of the biggest advantages of autoflowering seeds is their ability to produce a minimum of two outdoor crops. When you grow them indoors, however, you can produce four or five crops a year, and certain strains can become mature in as little as 10 weeks. They are heavily resistant to mold and pests and produce a higher yield when exposed to powerful light sources.
You can learn more about the different types of seeds, strains, and how best to grow them on most seed bank websites along with any applicable local laws. Do your research, and keep in mind how, where, what and when you want to grow before making a purchase.
Always buy from a reputable seed bank. The last thing you want is to buy what you think are feminized seeds, only to discover that they are regular seeds only capable of producing male plants.
How much you will pay for seeds depends on the strain you buy. Typically, a pack of 10-12 seeds can be as low as $40 but expect to pay up to $500 for high-end strains.
You can purchase seeds within most states where growing cannabis is legal, but the issue is still complicated by the fact that the plant is federally illegal.
In the United States, cannabis seeds cannot cross state lines. Though rare, transporting the products across state lines could result in federal charges. This is true even if you are purchasing cannabis seeds in a state that authorizes it and are entering a state that also authorizes it.
For that reason, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney well-versed in cannabis law to make sure you are protected when buying seeds.
Kate A. Miner has a degree in visual anthropology, and has worked in marketing and advertising for many years. She writes, takes photos and teaches yoga.
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Can you get in trouble for ordering cannabis seeds in the US?
Can a potential cannabis grower get in legal trouble for ordering cannabis seeds online to the United States? Where can you safely buy marijuana seeds in the USA?
Can you get in trouble for buying marijuana seeds online?
I am not a lawyer or legal expert so please take anything I saw with a grain of salt. However, I’ve been growing since 2008 and running GrowWeedEasy.com to teach other people how to grow weed since 2010. Despite talking to literally thousands of growers who’ve ordered cannabis seeds online, I’ve never heard of a single example of someone getting in trouble with the law due to it. Not even in states where growing weed is strictly illegal, and not even as a secondhand story about someone else. It may be technically illegal to own cannabis seeds, but there don’t seem to be many prosecutions against cannabis seeds in the United States.
People rarely get in trouble for ordering cannabis seeds online.
However, that doesn’t mean there’s no risk.
You never know when it comes to the American legal system, but from what I’ve seen, your risks with ordering cannabis seeds online are typically social and involve growing as opposed to the actual ordering process. When growers get in trouble, it’s nearly always due to the wrong person finding out about the grow. Whether it’s a nosy neighbor, your plants smelling up the neighborhood, or telling someone you grow weed. But when it comes to seeds, don’t tell your friends you plan to buy seeds because if you suddenly start showing up with a ton of amazing weed they’re going to realize you’re growing it. So if you plan to order seeds online, keep it to yourself.
How to protect yourself when ordering seeds online
- [Most Important] Order from a trusted cannabis seed bank that sells good genetics. Don’t get scammed with bad seeds or someone who takes your money and doesn’t send anything.
- Don’t tell anyone in your life that you plan to buy cannabis seeds or grow. They will remember your words when you suddenly start overflowing with dank weed and realize you’re growing.
- (Optional) Pay with crypto like Bitcoin or Ethereum or another anonymous payment method (I personally order with my regular bank debit card but I live in California)
- (Optional) Order to a second home address if you have one, but this is likely unnecessary.
Where to order seeds safely in the United States?
Remember when it comes to buying seeds: Real seed businesses don’t contact you. They let you contact them. If anyone messages you to sell you seeds on social media, look out! It’s possible they will take your payment and send nothing. Always take a second to think before sending money to anyone, especially if they contact you (whether by DM, text message, phone call, email, etc.).
Recommended Marijuana Seed Sources
These sources have gotten great reviews from our readers:
– California, United States (I Love Growing Marijuana) – California, United States – Shipped out of the UK
Seed Supreme has the best cannabis seed selection of these options. They carry many unique strains from old classics to trendy newer genetics.
The Platinum Cookies plant I’m growing now from Seed Supreme is the one pictured here in the middle. So far it’s the fastest-growing plant in the tent (check out the grow journal in progress).
Ultimate Auto has the best yields of any auto-flowering strain I’ve grown so far. This plant produced over 4 oz per plant even with only a corner of the grow tent to itself.
The biggest downside to ILGM as a seed source is their website can be difficult to navigate and find the strains you’re looking for. Their strain search is wonky and sometimes the search results are unexpected. But hey, you may find new and interesting strains that way.
MSNL Seeds was founded by a geneticist and they only carry hand-selected strains. They have a relatively small strain selection but the yields, bud quality, and plant growth are excellent. Tends to be a little cheaper than other trustworthy seed banks.
I have had amazing luck with MSNL’s autoflowering strains, like this Auto Amnesia grown in a mini tent under a 100W LED grow light.