Where are Cannabis Seeds Legal in 2023?

Cannabis regulations are murky and widely varied, but in the world of cannabis seeds, the DEA has dared to come to a national agreement: they’re legal. This 2022 decision follows the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC and separated it from the rest of the industry. 

Since seeds contain no detectable amount of the psychoactive cannabinoid, they’re legal to buy and sell. However, it’s essential to pay close attention to the ins and outs of legal seeds if you’re planning on getting involved. You can never be too safe when it comes to cannabis-related regulations—or too armed with knowledge. 

A brief history of cannabis seeds

Weed has been under strict governmental surveillance for the past several decades, but that wasn’t always the way. The cannabis plant has been normalized and regularly utilized for much longer than it’s been stigmatized, and the use of seeds in particular can be traced all the way back to 6000 B.C. Asia. Hemp was also popular among early consumers, who used it to make textiles, rope, clothing, paper, and various types of nutrient-dense food and drinks. 

Overall, the plant enjoyed a thriving trade system until the early 1900s, when cannabis began to be outlawed throughout the world as a direct result of racism. Today, seeds are starting to come full circle again—at least in the United States, where it’s finally legal to buy and sell cannabis seeds from various marijuana strains. 

Buying marijuana seeds

Are weed seeds illegal? No. Is it legal to buy weed seeds? YES! As long as you’re in the U.S., or a few other lucky countries like Spain, the U.K., or the Netherlands. However, it’s important to understand what exactly this means depending on your local regulations. 

For example: some regions might only allow seeds to be sold if they’re explicitly collectibles not for germination, and others might only permit these sorts of sales if they’re for medical or personal use. In Michigan, licensed cultivators can only buy seeds from other licensed cannabis cultivation operators, and in Massachusetts, licensed growers are given a determined 90-day window to purchase seeds. 

If you’re planning on buying and/or selling seeds, we recommend you start out by looking into your region’s regulations. That will help you rest easy, knowing you’re saving yourself a possible future legal headache by examining the facts before taking action. 

Shipping marijuana seeds

Are marijuana seeds illegal to ship? No…for the most part. 

As with all things cannabis-related, the language around seed legality and shipment is vague and confusing. However, seeds are defined in the Farm Bill as “legal wherever hemp is legal”, which means they’re nationally-recognized as good-to-go.

Of course, a few states have pushed back on seed legalization and trade—including Idaho and Texas—but otherwise, the nation has seemed pretty open to the concept, and national seed companies have been comfortably sending their products all over the country. This opens up a world of possibility for the industry, as breeders will be able to move their sought-after genetics across the nation instead of being confined to one specific region. 

Cannabis seed shelf life

A weed seed will be good from 3-10 years, depending on how well you store it. We recommend approaching seeds like wine: keep them in a 54-degree-or-below environment with low, ambient humidity. Opt for an airtight container, which will help keep your seeds protected from varying levels of moisture. 

Try to avoid putting them in a freezer, but if you simply can’t, just make sure to use them immediately after pulling them out to defrost. A fridge will also work as storage in a pinch, but ideally you’ll have access to a cool, dry, dark space. 

We also recommend labeling your seed containers with dates and strain names, especially if you’re working with a lot at once. Having a system in place will help you keep track of your seeds and avoid potential confusion or waste. 

6 Most Common Questions About Buying Weed Seeds

Are cannabis seeds legal?

Yes. Whether they’re autoflower seeds or feminized cannabis seeds, they’re legal to buy and/or sell as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Again, some regions will go out of their way to keep seeds away, but for the most part, the nation has been receptive to this exciting new change. 

How do you buy cannabis seeds?

Your buying method will depend on where you live, but in general, you can buy marijuana seeds online. If a company offers free shipping, this might be your best (and most financially-friendly) bet if you’re opting for discretion. 

You can also find seed banks that offer weed seeds in your area, if it’s accessible to you. Just be careful to double-check whether or not it’s a reputable seed bank; if not, you might be stuck with some crappy products that falsely advertised themselves as “high-quality cannabis seeds.”

Otherwise, we recommend getting in with a local grower and asking about seed purchasing options direct from the source. This will help you ensure you’re working with a trusted provider and getting exactly what you’re paying for. 

Who sells the best cannabis seeds?

If you’re comfortable with us being incredibly biased, we’d like to throw Humboldt Seed Company in the ring when it comes to a high-quality seed. But in general, you’ll have the best luck if you go for seeds that are local, ethically-sourced, and grown by experienced growers who know their way around genetics. As mentioned above, bonus points if you know your grower by name. 

Where do marijuana seeds come from?

If you’re planning on buying marijuana seeds, you may want to first understand where they come from and what makes them tick. 

Cannabis seeds develop within the calyx of the female cannabis plant: a.k.a., the part of the plant where the reproductive organs are located. When a female cannabis plant is pollinated by a male plant or through other means, the calyx will produce seeds as a result.

As the fertilized calyx matures, it will swell and eventually harden. This forms what is commonly known as a “bud”, or flower. When the bud is ready for harvest, the seeds can be found within the calyx. If the plant is not pollinated, the calyx won’t typically produce seeds, and the plant will instead invest its energy into producing more cannabinoids and resin.

Is it risky to buy weed seeds online?

Knowing how to buy marijuana seeds—or even knowing where to buy marijuana seeds in the first place—can be confusing. But when it comes to online seed banks, as long as they’re shipped discreetly and are from a legal source within the U.S., you should be safe. Make sure to do your research and read some reviews before ordering if you’re on the fence about it.

What’s the strongest marijuana seed for sale?

On the hunt for high-THC seeds? We recommend Jelly Donutz, one of our most potent cannabis strains produced from a cut of Runtz that we obtained at the Emerald Cup. The THC content tests as hig