Is It Legal To Buy Cannabis Seeds Online

The world differs widely regarding cannabis legalization. However, the sale of cannabis seeds is largely legal through a series of loopholes. 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. Wondering if you can buy marijuana seeds online legally? Here's our complete guide to how and where you can get the best genotypes.

Where Is It Legal To Buy Cannabis Seeds?

If the legal landscape of cannabis wasn’t confusing enough, cannabis seeds operate in a separate space. Generally considered legal, it’s often the act of germination that attracts the attention of law enforcement. We break down major European countries and their stance on cannabis seed legality.

Cannabis, CBD, Cannabinoids, THC, Science

This blog post is for informational purposes only. The contents of this post should not be interpreted as legal advice.

Cannabis seed legality is an obscure topic. With each country taking its own approach to cannabis legality, many buyers assume the seeds will be treated in the same vein. It is, however, the process of germination that attracts the eyes of the law when it comes to purchasing cannabis seeds. Therefore, in theory, it is perfectly legal to buy cannabis seeds as long as it cannot be proven that you intend to grow cannabis from them, either privately or commercially.

THE BASIC PREMISE OF SEED LEGALITY

The legislation is rapidly changing, and with it is the cannabis landscape. However, as we have already alluded to, cannabis seeds in principle are not illegal across Europe. It is actually possible to buy seeds from other countries and have them shipped to your home address.

As a direct result, many European countries have seen a distinct increase in the opening of seed shops. Since it is down to law enforcement to prove the purchase of seeds is with the intent to cultivate cannabis, many store owners operate on a thin line between legal and illegal activity.

Cannabis seeds are rich in proteins and amino acids, making them a great healthy snack. They are also commonly used in fishing bait, additives, luxury bird food, or as souvenirs or collector’s items.

EVERY COUNTRY IS DIFFERENT

While this broad approach applies to Europe, when a product enters a specific country, it is then subject to that country’s laws. Therefore, it is possible to buy seeds prohibited in your own country, but legal in another.

To make matters even more confusing, in 1962, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs formed the framework for legislation worldwide. 180 member states signed the international treaty, which deems cannabis an illegal substance. Cannabis seeds, however, are not. In seed form, they do not possess any narcotic components. International law does take precedence over national law, meaning cannabis seeds are technically legal in all of the member states.

UNITED KINGDOM

The act of buying, selling, or trading cannabis seeds is legal in the UK, whether you are receiving them domestically or from other European countries. The biggest legal issue surrounds the germination of cannabis seeds. This is illegal, and anyone found doing so will be subject to prosecution. It is important that the seeds are purchased from reputable vendors and that no discussion is had about germination. This could be construed as buying “with intent”, which would make the activity illegal.

GERMANY

Germany presents a complicated stance on cannabis seeds. Seeds do not fall under the German Narcotics Act, which therefore makes them legal to buy. However, Germany has prohibited the sale of cannabis seeds countrywide, being the only European nation to have done so.

Where does that leave consumers interested in cannabis seeds? Germany is still subject to the principle of free movement of goods in the EU, so having cannabis seeds shipped to Germany is permitted. You will not be subject to criminal repercussions if you order cannabis seeds online. Cannabis is legal by exception for users who have been granted a prescription by a medical professional.

SPAIN

Taking a similar approach to the UK, Spain has a slightly more lenient stance regarding cannabis and its seeds. It is legal to buy and sell cannabis seeds as long as it is for personal use in private areas. As such, it’s possible to germinate cannabis seeds for personal use without falling foul of the law, unless it can be proved that you intend to traffic.

Spain is unique in that it operates as a series of decentralised regions, each one capable of making their own regulations in regards to cannabis. Generally, the same approach can be applied to Spain as a whole. While seed shops will need legal authorisation to sell cannabis seeds, their private use remains legal.

ITALY

Cannabis seeds are viewed as cultivation equipment, which makes acquiring them easy thanks to numerous grow shops. Other than that, any cannabis-related activity is still prohibited, making germination an illegal act. Even though there are reports of users being let off when caught with a small amount for personal use, cannabis is still illegal.

NETHERLANDS

Considered by many to be the motherland of cannabis in Europe, it’s no surprise that cannabis seeds and CBD are legal to purchase. However, what may come as a surprise is that cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands. It is merely allowed under a “tolerance policy”. Growing cannabis is also a criminal act, although law enforcement tolerates a small number of plants grown for personal use.

FRANCE

France is unique in that cannabis, along with any other drug, may not be presented in a favourable light. No other European country has this type of legislation, and let us hope it stays that way. Surprisingly, cannabis seeds are legal as long as they are not used for growing. Consumption of weed, buying, or selling are also illegal and carry prison sentences and fines. If you live in France, you will have to order cannabis seeds from another European country.

OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

The above are but a small sample of European countries. We would always recommend reviewing your own nation’s stance on the legality of cannabis seeds and cannabis to ensure you do not attract the attention of law enforcement. As the buyer or owner of said seeds, you are liable for any fines or penalties that may accompany such attention. Generally speaking, the purchase of cannabis seeds as a collector’s item or for purposes other than growing is seen as legal.

USA AND SOUTH AMERICA

If you live in the USA, you are at the mercy of your own state’s specific legislation. Technically speaking, cannabis seeds are prohibited under federal law in every state. What complicates matters is that several states have now authorised marijuana for recreational use as well as medicinal use. If you do live in a state with legalized weed, rules surrounding the purchasing of seeds vary. As always, check the technicalities at a local level.

South American countries are a melting pot of legislation. Some, like Brazil, are halfway between legalization and total prohibition, while countries like Uruguay have legalized cannabis in a bid to halt illegal trafficking of the substance. As many Latin American nations are part of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, cannabis seeds in principle are legal. However, given the volatility of the situation surrounding cannabis legalization is this part of the world, reviewing your own country’s restrictions is a must.

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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.

In Europe

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.

In Summary

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 Legally Buy Cannabis Seeds Online?

A substantial number of states allow medical marijuana, along with a growing number of places that have legalized recreational cannabis. The public is becoming more aware of the potential benefits of marijuana. People also realize that the damaging side effects of cannabis are often overstated, although some are real. Nonetheless, there is a softening in the stance towards the plant, which is even apparent on a political level.

As well as allowing people to use weed, an increasing number of states are relaxing restrictions on growing it at home.
You’ll need seeds to do so, but this is where it gets complicated for American residents in particular. Even if you live in California, where it is legal to grow cannabis at home, and purchase seeds from a Colorado-based seed bank, your package can STILL be confiscated.

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Indeed, you could get in more trouble buying seeds from within the US than from an overseas country! This is the reason why most reputable seed banks that you hear about are located in Europe! This article delves deeper into the legality surrounding the purchase of cannabis seeds in the United States and offers tips to ensure you buy a high-quality product.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Marijuana Seeds Law

Cannabis remains a federally illegal substance in the United States. The plant’s seeds are also classified as cannabis, just like concentrate, flower, or edibles. As cannabis seeds are legal in certain states, seed banks operate within America’s borders. However, most of the best-known sellers operate in Canada or Europe. Let’s find out who can purchase seeds in the United States.

Is It Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds Online in Any State?

As the nation’s cannabis laws state that the substance is federally illegal, it is technically against the law to buy, sell, or use it anywhere in the country. Indeed, the federal government could arrest someone for consuming cannabis if they so choose because federal law supersedes state law.

However, a majority of states allow medical marijuana, and a growing number permit adult-use cannabis. At present, the United States government has shown no indication that it wishes to interfere with a state’s right to legalize marijuana.

The current situation means you can legally get a cannabis seed from a dispensary in states where recreational cannabis is legal. In medical marijuana states, you’ll need to produce an MMJ card. Otherwise, you’re not allowed to purchase cannabis seeds.

Things are different online. It is illegal to transport cannabis seeds across state lines regardless of whether the plant is legal in both states. Therefore, you can only buy the seeds online if the seller is located within your state, and it is a location where adult-use marijuana is allowed.

Of course, you can take the risk of having your seeds confiscated by trying to order online anyway.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Is There Any Reputable American Seed Bank?

Although the United States is one of the world’s most progressive countries in marijuana legalization, the plant remains federally illegal. As long as this remains the case, users face all manner of complications. Ultimately, purchasing marijuana seeds online is only possible if you live in one of a select few states.

If you are concerned about legal issues, we recommend purchasing your seeds directly from a dispensary rather than buying them online. However, residents of Colorado should have no difficulties in theory. Stores such as The Farm and The Green Solution regularly advertise their online seed options. It should be a quick and easy process to buy them online if you are a resident of Colorado.

Elsewhere, it can be a matter of pot luck (pun intended). First and foremost, we can only recommend online seed purchases if you live in a state where growing marijuana at home is legal. If your package gets intercepted, you could face legal consequences, although this unfortunate situation is relatively rare.

You need a reputable seed bank capable of shipping to numerous states that understands the need for discretion. Such companies know how to package their goods to evade detection. If the seeds are confiscated, the firm will either send a new package for free or refund your money.

Which American Seeds Banks Are the Best?

California-based I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) is one of the most trustworthy seed sellers we have found in the United States. The website and store are run by Robert Bergman, who is an expert marijuana cultivator. He offers dozens of options and provides FREE shipping to customers in the United States and Europe.

Rocket Seeds is another American seed bank with a positive reputation. It operates out of the Bronx, New York, and is famed for its rapid shipping.

There are numerous Canadian seed banks known for selling excellent products. Noteworthy brands include Crop Seed Kings, MJSeeds, and Beaver Seeds.

Certain online marijuana seed sellers in the United States try to use subterfuge to ensure their customers receive the seeds.

It is possible to buy seeds from stores only if they are ‘used’ as luxury bird food or fishing bait additives.

In February 2015, one month after cannabis legalization went into effect in Washington D.C., the D.C. Cannabis Campaign organized a ‘seed sharing’ event in the country’s capital. As part of the new law, anyone aged 21+ who attended the event was legally allowed to receive an ounce of seeds. Unfortunately, the laws surrounding purchasing marijuana seeds online in the US have remained as clear as mud in the years since.

European Marijuana Seed Banks

Many of the American seed banks that offer marijuana seeds source them from a seed bank in a European country. When we bemoan the issues that cause federal and state laws to become unclear and confusing, it is important to remember that the US is effectively a continent with 50 different states and additional territories.

Europe is also a continent, and it also has more than 50 countries. The laws surrounding marijuana seeds vary according to each nation but become less confusing because they are separate states. That’s not to say that things don’t become complex!

In principle, cannabis seeds are not illegal in Europe, and it is possible to purchase seeds from another country. In general, when a product enters a European country, it becomes subject to that nation’s laws. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, a 1962 framework for marijuana legalization, is an international treaty that was signed by 180 countries.

In the treaty, marijuana is classed as an illegal substance, but marijuana seeds are not illegal. As international law takes precedence over a country’s own laws, cannabis seeds are technically legal in all 180 countries. Alas, it isn’t as easy as that, and it is much safer to purchase seeds from one European country than another. Here’s a look at marijuana seed laws in a few major European nations:

  • Germany: As seeds don’t fall under the German Narcotics Act, they are technically legal to purchase. However, Germany has prohibited the sale of cannabis seeds across the nation, the only EU member state to have done so. As Germany 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. American buyers tend to use UK sellers such as Seedsman, who have been selling seeds globally since 2003. However, we’re not sure what will happen once the UK has left the EU. By the way, UK residents are not allowed to germinate cannabis seeds.
  • Netherlands: It is shocking to learn that despite the nation’s relaxed attitude towards marijuana, it is still illegal! However, you should have no issue purchasing cannabis seeds from a Dutch-based seed company. Companies such as Nirvana, MSNL Seeds, and Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds also enjoy good reputations.
  • France: Cannabis seeds are legal as long as they are not used for growing. However, you will struggle to find any reputable French cannabis seed dealer.
  • Spain: Spain has a similarly lenient policy as the UK. Residents can buy and sell seeds as long as they are for personal use in private areas. Shops need legal authorization to sell seeds. Alicante-based Herbie’s Seeds is a highly rated seed bank.
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Types of Marijuana Seeds Available

There are three distinct types of marijuana seeds.

Regular Marijuana Seeds

These seeds come from one female and one male parent. As a result, there is a 50/50 chance that the plant will be the feminized version that carries all of those wonderful cannabinoids. As you have no control of the plant’s gender, there is a chance that you’ll waste weeks waiting for the gender to be revealed.

Feminized Marijuana Seeds

You should purchase feminized seeds instead of their regular counterparts. These seeds have no male chromosomes and are guaranteed to provide resinous bud. In other words, you don’t have to wait for a guarantee which is NOT the case with ‘regular’ seeds.

Autoflowering Marijuana Seeds

This type of seed is your best option if you want to grow your weed indoors. These seeds have genetics that evolved in northern Eurasia which means they are strong and sturdy. They are 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 per annum. Certain strains can become mature in just ten weeks! They are heavily resistant to mold and pests and produce a much higher yield when exposed to a powerful light source.

How to Buy Cannabis Seeds Online Safely

Your safest bet is to stick to one of the reputable seedbanks outlined in this article. Look for companies that have been in the industry for a long time and have earned a significant number of positive customer reviews.

When you purchase a packet of marijuana seeds, make sure the seller explains where the seeds came from and how they were crossed or backcrossed. Don’t risk your money on seeds with no history because there’s no way of telling what you’ll end up with.

The top-rated seed banks are old hands when it comes to getting their products through customs. Some of them offer discreet shipping, which usually involves hiding the seeds in other objects. Therefore, even if a customs official opens the package, it looks like someone else.

The perfect place for seeds…

For your part, it makes sense to make a few small or medium orders. First of all, a large order could draw unwanted attention. Secondly, if one of the packages is confiscated, you won’t lose your entire order.

Finally, you could consider paying via cryptocurrency. Digital currencies such as Bitcoin leave no official record. The issue here is that the volatility of crypto means your order could become expensive in hindsight. Imagine paying in Bitcoin, only to discover that the digital currency’s value doubles in the following two weeks!

Final Thoughts on Buying Marijuana Seeds Online

As much as we would love to provide a definitive answer to the title question, we have to admit that it is complicated. You can purchase seeds within most states where growing marijuana is legal, but the issue is clouded by the fact that marijuana is federally illegal. Then there is the small matter of the nuances of state and even local law.

You should be able to purchase from seed banks in the UK and Netherlands, but make sure you do your research and find a reputable company. The last thing you want is to buy what you think are feminized seeds, only to discover that they are regular seeds capable of producing male plants!

Will Customs Confiscate My Cannabis Seeds?

Yes, but only if they find them! Some reputable seed banks claim that customs confiscate only 5% of their shipments. A growing number of seed banks use discreet shipping. This involves sending additional ‘gifts’ you didn’t order to conceal the seeds. You’ll receive a confiscation letter instead of the seeds if your purchase is halted at customs. However, the top-rated seed banks tend to offer a money-back guarantee if this happens.

Is It Illegal to Send Seeds in the Mail?

As cannabis is federally illegal, transporting the plant’s seeds across state lines is against the law. This is the case even if you are sending them from one adult-use state to another. However, there is little chance of getting into legal trouble. For a start, it is possible to buy them for research or collectible purposes rather than using them to grow plants.

You’re more likely to get in trouble for sending marijuana seeds from one state to another in America than sending them into the US from abroad. However, it is rare to hear of anyone getting into legal trouble for sending cannabis seeds in the mail. Usually, the worst-case scenario is that your seeds are confiscated.

Why Are Most of the Top Seed Banks International?

It is mainly due to legal issues. The world’s best seed banks are generally located in places like the Netherlands, UK, and Spain, where marijuana laws aren’t as strict as in the United States. US cannabis law means an American seed bank faces greater legal issues when sending products from one state to another than their international equivalent.

However, there are a few high-quality American seed banks, such as I Love Growing Marijuana.

Can Non-Residents Buy Seeds Online?

It is not a good idea! As marijuana is federally legal, non-residents can be deported from the United States if they have a job in a legal cannabis dispensary! Indeed, even the use of legal marijuana can result in deportation. Therefore, we would urge non-residents NOT to purchase cannabis seeds online or in a dispensary. Even if there is a relatively small chance of being caught, it isn’t worth the risk.

Is Ordering Cannabis Seeds Online Safe?

The answer is ‘yes,’ but only as long as you buy the seeds from a reputable seed bank. Apart from I Love Growing Marijuana, MSNL Seed Bank, Crop Seed Kings, and Sensi Seeds have all established a reputation for high-quality seeds. These companies provide seeds with a high germination rate and offer an excellent range of strains.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.