While some cannabis businesses focus on selling pre-processed products, others involve growing plants from seeds. States often allow their citizens to grow a certain number of marijuana plants for personal use without getting a license. However, commercial cannabis cultivation generally requires getting a license from the state and sometimes local regulatory authorities. Depending on the location and the scale of the operation, this process may be straightforward or exhaustive, but it is critical to comply with all applicable rules to ensure that your business operates within the law.
Rules frequently change in the cannabis industry as it continues to evolve. Moreover, operating in an industry that remains illegal under federal law can create pitfalls of which business owners should be aware. If you have questions about entering the area of cannabis cultivation, you may want to consult an attorney who has advised similar businesses.
Other Uses of Cannabis Seeds
Some people purchase these seeds for purposes unrelated to the cultivation and sale of marijuana. Traditional legitimate uses of cannabis seeds include bird food and fish bait. A state may allow its citizens to purchase cannabis seeds for these purposes, even if it does not allow them to purchase seeds for marijuana cultivation.
Purchasing Cannabis Seeds in Your State
A cannabis cultivator should try to buy seeds in their state if they can. For example, they should be able to get seeds from a seed company or dispensary. The cost tends to vary dramatically depending on the quality of the seeds. While some ordinary strains may cost less than $100, higher-quality strains may cost several hundred dollars. A purchaser of cannabis seeds should make sure that they buy seeds from a fully licensed and authorized provider, even if this results in greater costs. Employees or managers of a seed company or dispensary may be able to advise a purchaser on any legal compliance issues.
Purchasing Cannabis Seeds Outside Your State
If their state does not offer ideal options for purchasing cannabis seeds, a grower might consider purchasing them in another state that permits these transactions. However, the grower might face problems in bringing the seeds to their state. This is because the federal government still criminalizes marijuana. One of the federal marijuana crimes involves transporting the drug or substances related to it (such as seeds) across state lines, even if both the origin state and the destination state have legalized cannabis activities. Federal prosecutors do not often charge this crime in connection with marijuana businesses, but the risk remains.
Some cannabis cultivators even consider purchasing their seeds outside the US, such as in the Netherlands or another nation with a strong foothold in the international marijuana industry. When the seeds arrive in the US, though, immigration authorities likely will confiscate them because bringing marijuana-related substances into the US violates federal law. The law of the state where the flight arrived makes no difference to this outcome.
Purchasing Cannabis Seeds Online
Some cannabis cultivators prefer to buy their seeds online through a seed bank. State law may permit online purchases and shipping, but again the cannabis seeds might be confiscated during transit. In rare situations, a cannabis cultivator might even face criminal charges under federal law. Enforcement in this area tends to be unpredictable and subject to frequent, radical policy changes.