Seed Licensing, Registration, and Other Frequently Asked Questions Provisions in Act 329, the Michigan Seed Law, authorize the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to regulate Many cannabis business owners wonder how to legally purchase cannabis seeds in the U.S. and beyond. Find your answers here at FindLaw. Cannabis seed banks vs. seed brokers, they both are enjoying a booming business. While simultaneously providing much-wanted cannabis genetics to growers.
Seed Licensing, Registration, and Other Frequently Asked Questions
Provisions in Act 329, the Michigan Seed Law, authorize the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to regulate the labeling, coloration, advertising, sale, offering, exposing, or transporting for sale of agricultural, vegetable, lawn, flower, and forest tree seeds. Act 329 also authorizes the Director of Agriculture to adopt rules for its enforcement, provides for the inspection and testing of seed, and prescribes penalties for violations.
Act 221, the Certification of Seed law, characterizes certified and certain classes of seed, authorizes the Director of Agriculture to promulgate rules and regulations governing the certification of seed as to certain genetic and other standards, authorizes the designation of official seed certification agencies, and provides penalties for violations.
- An inspector from MDARD issued a “Violation Notice” or “stop sale” to my retail store preventing me from selling specific seed lots because of labeling problems. What do I need to do to have the stop-sale removed?
- I received a seed analysis report indicating that my seed product had problems and that it cannot be sold. How do I correct the problem? Who should I notify when I have corrected the problem?
- If test results revealed that the seed’s germination has fallen below the required minimum standards, it cannot be sold.
- If the seed’s quality does not meet standards for other crop, inert material or weed seed, it cannot be sold unless it can be reprocessed in such a way that it meets those standards.
- The seed is misbranded:
- Testing showed that it failed to meet the label’s stated claims or guarantees.
- The test date had expired.
In cases of misbranding the problem can usually be corrected by simply replacing the original labels with new labels that reflect the information found in the official seed analysis report. If the test has expired, a new label showing the date of the latest test is required.
If the seed cannot be sold, contact the supplier to see if they will replace it or give you credit for it. Any seed that cannot sold or returned should be destroyed.
When the problem has been corrected, contact the inspector who issued the violation notice or stop sale order. It is illegal to resume selling any seed that is the subject of a violation / stop sale notice until a representative of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development has verified that the seed has been made legal.
- What does the term KIND refer to?
- KIND means 1 or more related species or subspecies which singly or collectively is known by 1 common name, including, but not limited to, oats, wheat, soybeans, corn, Kentucky bluegrass, annual ryegrass, and petunia.
- What is a seed VARIETY?
- VARIETY means a subdivision of a kind which is distinct, uniform, and stable; distinct in the sense that the variety can be differentiated by 1 or more identifiable morphological, physiological, or other characteristics from all other varieties of public knowledge; uniform in the sense that variations in essential and distinctive characteristics are describable, and stable in the sense that the variety will remain unchanged in its essential and distinctive characteristics and its uniformity when reproduced or reconstituted as required by the different categories of varieties; for example, Heritage oats, Augusta wheat, Corsoy soybeans, Marion Kentucky Bluegrass.
- What is the difference between a seed MIXTURE and a seed BLEND?
A blend of seed consists of more than one variety of the same kind of seed being sold in the same bag/container, each variety present comprising at least 5% of the whole. For example, a BLEND may consist of different varieties of Kentucky blue grass.
How to Legally Purchase Cannabis Seeds in the United States
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 a local cannabis business attorney 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.
Cannabis Seed Banks vs. Seed Brokers: Know the Difference
Seeds are an essential part of growing cannabis. Even established commercial companies that grow from clones have an ongoing need for seeds in order to create and introduce new proprietary strains. A major percentage of home growers always grow from seed, and this reality resulted in the establishment of numerous seed banks and seed brokers years ago. The number of seed banks has only expanded over the years, answering the demand for exclusive cannabis genetics in the United States and other countries.
While Amsterdam reigns supreme as the capital for seed banks, many of their genetics originally came from the U.S., which creates an interesting situation. In order to gain access to these once-American strains, U.S. consumers ironically have to obtain them from Dutch suppliers. With cannabis laws becoming increasingly progressive in the U.S., an increasing number of legal options are now becoming available to seed seekers in the states. Seed banks and brokers are springing up with increasing regularity on this side of the pond, specifically serving the needs of American growers—while some European seed companies (not all) specifically serve the needs of the European market.
Occasionally, you will find strains marketed in both Amsterdam and America that have the same name and genetic background but are dramatically different. Skunk #1 is an excellent example. While the American Skunk #1 reflects its name and has a dank, skunky quality, the Dutch version is sweet, with no trace of the skunky aroma. Dutch breeders have selectively bred Skunk #1 to appeal to the Dutch palate, while American breeders have retained its skunky qualities, which many Americans love. This creates a different take on the same strain. Several other Dutch skunk strains have a sweet quality as well.
How Are These Businesses Different?
Although various seed companies don’t always call themselves seed banks and brokers, and market themselves as such, people who are seeking good cannabis genetics often rely on them to get seeds. While both types of companies sell seed, they are decidedly different.
Seed companies do their own breeding to create new strains they market in seed form. Through selective breeding and growing, they identify the best phenotypes and stabilize the strains—although some strain releases may have a few known phenos that can occur in a single pack of seeds. Seed companies strive for consistency so their buyers know what to expect and gain trust in them as a source for potent, flavorful cannabis. Most seed banks sell their own seeds, sometimes only at their main place of business, as well as well as distribute them through seed brokers. To confuse things further, some seed companies market their seeds under more than one name, or occasionally sell seeds from partner companies.
Seed brokers do not create seed. Rather, they market seeds from various seed companies and banks, and they may have seed available from a diverse assortment of different seed creators. Many seed companies depend on seed brokers to market their product. Unlike some seed banks, most seed brokers will mail seeds worldwide, while some seed banks will only sell within their own country or to select countries. Price doesn’t always dictate quality. There are some seed companies and banks that sell very high-quality seeds at reasonable prices. The highest-priced strains are often new and highly anticipated releases, as well as old classics that are in high demand.
The seeds that these companies ship are sent in protective, discreet packaging. Some places will let you choose to remove seeds from a breeder’s packaging. Then, they are placed in collectible souveniers such as tote bags, pens, toys, DVD cases, and more to avoid detection. Most of them ship orders in a very timely manner. Seed buyers should research and educate themselves about the legality of shipping cannabis seeds to their locations and place orders armed with that knowledge.
Let’s take a look at a variety of seed businesses, both seed banks and seed brokers. Quite a few American cannabis breeders have migrated to Europe to do business—especially in the days when cannabis prohibition was nationwide in the U.S. Since marijuana is now legal in many parts of America (U.S. and Canada), there is cross-traffic, with Europeans coming to America as well.
As far as some of the more prominent seed businesses, an online search will reveal many more for those who are shopping for seeds. If a specific seed company will not ship to your location and you have a strong desire to grow one of their strains, chances are good that a seed broker will send you the same seed strain, from the exact company that created it, with packaging to prove it.
These companies have been around for decades and have honed their craft to produce consistently high-quality seed. They are reliable, and the quality of their products has satisfied buyers for many years. Most of these companies have produced iconic strains that are widely known in the industry. Here is a small selection of notable seed banks.
This Dutch company has created some fantastic seed strains over the years. Sensi Seeds is the creator of Jack Herer, a wonderfully Hazy and fruity sativa-dominant strain that enjoys worldwide popularity and has garnered numerous awards. Sensi is also responsible for creating Silver Haze and Marley’s Collie, and is the original source for Maple Leaf Indica. Since 1985, Sensi Seeds has grown to become the world’s largest cannabis seed bank with over 500 varieties.
The strains from DNA Genetics have quickly attracted huge popularity, and for good reason. Potent and delicious, they have garnered an amazing number of well-earned awards. . All in all, they’ve won more than 200 awards in all categories at the industry’s leading cannabis events. DNA is the company responsible for bringing numerous heavy hitters to the market, including Chocolope, Lemon Skunk, and LA Confidential. Their Tangie and Strawberry Banana strains have also attracted legions of fans.
With a solid portfolio of favorites, T.H. Seeds is another company worthy of your consideration for its assortment of highly regarded seed strains. T.H. Seeds was started in Amsterdam in 1993. For over 25 years, the company has been focused on preserving quality genetics and sharing them with the world. The company is responsible for the original indica-dominant version of Bubblegum, as well as industry head-turners like S.A.G.E., MK-Ultra, S.A.G.E and Sour, Chocolate Chunk, and Heavy Duty Fruity.
With a long history in cannabis seeds, Dutch Passion offers excellent versions of outstanding strains. As one of the oldest seed banks in the world, they’ve ammassed a fine selection of original cannabis classic varieties and the best new ones, too. They have been a source for D.J. Short’s original Blueberry and also market an excellent Strawberry Cough. The Californian Orange strain is also one of their highly regarded releases.
Without a doubt, Serious Seeds has some seriously good cannabis genetics. With an inventory that’s more limited than most, it’s obvious the company prefers quality over quantity. Just about all their strains are notable and worthy of your consideration. The company created AK-47 and the sativa-dominant version of Bubblegum. Chronic is another of their original strains. They also have great strain genetics for Kali Mist, Warlock, and White Russian. They also offer Seriously Limited seeds that are limited to only 4,000 packs and Seriously Customized seeds that have multiple strains in a single pack.