Many of our readers are Aussies, and they often ask us questions about buying cannabis seeds on the internet in Australia.
So I decided to take a closer look, and a lot of the information online is very confusing.
This guide aims to be a simple but definitive guide to buying cannabis seeds in Australia in 2020.
Table of contents
- Are Cannabis Seeds Legal In Australia?
- So what about cannabis seeds then?
- Is It Safe To Buy Cannabis Seeds Online in Australia?
- How Are Cannabis Seeds Shipped to Australia?
- Are There Any Good Australian Based Seed Banks?
- International Seed Banks That Ship To Australia
- Buying Marijuana Seeds in Australia FAQ
- Final Thoughts – Guide To Cannabis Seeds Australia
Are Cannabis Seeds Legal In Australia?
To understand laws on buying cannabis seeds in Australia, it’s important to understand the context by looking at the law on cannabis in general.
Like other progressive countries in the world, marijuana legalization in Australia has been a long slog.
But it is finally starting to bear fruit. Medical marijuana is allowed in most territories now.
There are currently no blanket laws in Australia that deal with marijuana-related offenses on a national level.
This includes possession, use, and supply.
That leaves states and territories to deal with marijuana laws independently.
This extends to cannabis seeds.
Thankfully, most Australian states are pretty relaxed on marijuana-related offenses.
They favor small fines, treatment, and diversion programs rather than criminal records, big fines, or jail time.
A few states are tougher on these offenses.
So I’d recommend knowing the marijuana laws of the state you live in before buying marijuana seeds over the internet.
Here’s a breakdown on each state’s current marijuana laws:
Australian Capital City
The ACT has the most lenient rules on cannabis use and cultivation.
If you’re 18 years or older, you can now:
- own up to 50 grams of dried marijuana or 150 grams of wet marijuana
- grow up to 2 marijuana plants per person, with a maximum of 4 plants per household
- use marijuana in your home
However, it’s still an offense to:
- smoke or grow cannabis in a public place
- expose a child or a minor to cannabis smoke
- store cannabis where children/minors can find it
- grow cannabis using hydroponics or artificial cultivation
Penalties will occur for violations of these laws.
Fines start at around $100 but can go all the way to $250,000 and life imprisonment for the most serious offenses.
New South Wales
Like Victoria, New South Wales enforces a penalty unit system.
It’s a simple way to determine the gravity and fine for an offense. More penalty units mean bigger fines.
One penalty unit in New South Wales currently costs $110.
If you’re caught with up to 15 grams of cannabis in New South Wales, the officer can let you off with up to two cautions/diversions at their discretion.
If you have more than 15 grams on you, you will face up to 2 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of up to $2,200.
Possession for personal use is a summary offense.
This means your case will be handled by the local or children’s court.
Now while the penalty goes up to $2,200, (or 20 units) in practice, the actual fines will often range between $110-$550, for an average of about $220.
If you’re caught with a quantity that’s enough for selling, you will face much higher penalties.
The Cannabis Cautioning Scheme
The NSW Police have a Cannabis Cautioning Scheme that they can use at their discretion.
They can let you off with a caution if you’re found with less than 15 grams of cannabis, and no previous convictions for violent, sexual, or drug-related offenses.
However, it’s important to remember that you are not entitled to a caution even if you’re eligible for it.
It is completely up to the officer if they want to give you one.
So it’s in your best interest to be polite, especially if you have less than 15 grams on you.
That way, the officer is more likely to let you off with a caution.
Don’t give them a reason to charge you, because they most likely will.
One more thing to remember: you can only be cautioned twice.
After the second time, you’ll be required to attend an Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS).
On the Spot Fines
As of January 2019, police officers can now issue on-the-spot fines of up to $400 at their discretion.
They can also choose not to do this, depending on how their discussions with you go.
So keep calm and stay respectful, since getting a fine is the best possible outcome if you can afford it.
Paying it will prevent you from getting a criminal conviction, meaning you won’t have to go to court and face a Magistrate or Judge.
However, if you choose not to pay the fine or contest it, you will be given a court date.
You will have to appear before a local Court Magistrate, where you’ll plead either guilty or not guilty.
Trafficking and Supplying
The NSW government uses a mixed weight system when it comes to determining trafficking charges.
This means that they’ll calculate the total weight of the seized samples when charging you.
The maximum penalty for a large commercial quantity (100 kg and up) has a maximum penalty of up to $550,000 and/or 25 years in prison.
Meanwhile, smaller, indictable quantities can go up to maximums of $220,000-385,000, and/or 10-15 years in prison.
South Australia has decriminalized the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana.
Under the Expiation of Offences Act 1996, small offenses can be expiated by an officer.
This means you’ll have to pay a fine (within 28 days) instead of facing prosecution.
Here are some of those fines:
- Less than 25g – $150
- Between 25 and 100g – $300
- Less than 5g of resin – $150
- Between 5 to 20g of resin – $300
- Equipment for preparing or using cannabis or resin $150 (+$30when accompanied with another simple cannabis offense)
- 1 cannabis plant – $300
- 2 to 4 plants: $1000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment
- 6 to 9 plants: $2000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment
- trafficable quantity (10 to 19 plants): $75,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment
- commercial quantity (20 to 99 plants): $500,000 and/or life imprisonment
- large commercial quantity (100+ plants): $500,000 and/or life imprisonment
- smoking in a public place – $150
Like Victoria and Tasmania, Queensland also follows the penalty unit system.
As of July 1, 2020, one QLD penalty unit is $133.45
Queensland categorizes illicit drugs into schedules. Schedule 1 is for hard drugs like cocaine, meth, or heroin, while cannabis, codeine, and ketamine fall under schedule 2.
In Queensland, possession of both cannabis and drug paraphernalia are punishable offenses.
If you’re found with less than 50 grams of cannabis and/or a smoking device, then the police are required to offer you a drug diversion.
It’s similar to the Cannabis Cautioning Scheme in New South Wales, where you can avoid going to court if you’re issued one.
It has similar requirements for eligibility, which are:
- You have not received a drug diversion before
- You have not been arrested for any indictable offense associated with the possession
- You admit the possession in a recorded interview
- You don’t have any prior criminal record of violence
- You have not been imprisoned for drug charges relating to supply, cultivation/production, or trafficking
Once a court diversion is ordered, you will not be criminally convicted.
Instead, you’ll have to attend a ‘Drug Education and Assessment’ session and meet a good behavior bond.
Trafficking and Supplying
Trafficking cannabis is an indictable offense that can lead to a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.
Meanwhile, supplying carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.
Growing cannabis is also risky in QLD.
If you’re caught with under 500 grams or 100 plants of cannabis, there’s a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.
For amounts exceeding 500 grams, the maximum is 20 years.
Western Australia has stricter cannabis laws than most states.
However, they do have humane policies in place to protect first offenders/minors from prosecution.
The most notable is the CIR, or Cannabis Intervention Requirement.
Under this scheme, WA Police may issue a CIR notice to a person that meets these requirements:
- aged 14-17 years old
- found using or possessing less than 10 grams of cannabis, or a smoking device (a pipe, bowl, etc) with traces of weed
If you’re issued a CIR, you must:
- schedule and complete a Cannabis Intervention Session (CIS) within 28 days
- if you are unable to complete a CIS within the 28 day period, you can apply for an extension by writing to the WA police. However, you’ll need to provide proof of extenuating circumstances. You can find the forms here.
Other important things to remember about the CIR:
- adolescents aged 14-17 can be issued a CIR up to 3 times. Adults ages 18+ get only one chance.
- repeat offenses can get you prosecuted in court
- CIRs only apply to dried weed. You will not receive one for growing or possessing cannabis plants, or other cannabis products like oils, resins, etc.
- Giving out a CIR is entirely up to the officer. So remember to be honest and respectful to them, and they’re more likely to issue you one instead of arresting you.
Now, the CIR can be a massive inconvenience.
But it’s still a better alternative to facing criminal charges, which you most certainly will when you’re found with over 10 grams on you.
Here’s what you can expect if that happens:
- Possession for Personal Use -10 to 100 grams, or under 20 plants
- Fine of up to $2000, or 2 years imprisonment
- Possession with Intent to Sell or Supply – 100+ grams, over 20 plants
This is where it gets serious. Getting caught with over 100 grams or 20 plants makes it difficult to deny your intention to go beyond personal use.
Expect a court date with this offense, where you will be sentenced with a $5000 fine or up to 4 years imprisonment.
In more serious cases, the fine can go all the way up to $100,000, and 25 years imprisonment.
Tasmania’s cannabis laws are also quite strict.
They follow the same penalty unit system employed in Victoria.
Penalty units also rise with inflation every year.
As of July 2020, one penalty unit costs $172.
Most cannabis offenses will carry both a penalty unit and a maximum imprisonment term.
This covers usage, possession, trafficking, and cultivation.
The penalty will depend on the quantity involved and intended use (personal vs selling).
In Tasmania, it’s not just illegal to possess cannabis, it’s also illegal to carry any of the equipment needed to use it.
This means that a simple mistake like misplacing a bong can get you charged.
The maximum charge for this minor offense? Up to 50 penalty units, or $8600.
That’s a pricey mistake to make, so be careful where you leave your smoking equipment/accessories.
If you’re caught with less than 50 grams, you may be let off with a caution, which will help you avoid additional charges.
Be advised that you can only be given up to 3 cautions over a 10 year period.
Cultivation and Trafficking
This is an area you should be wary of. Tasmanian laws are very hard on traffickers, as it is an indictable offense that is tried in their Supreme Court.
If you’re caught with quantities exceeding 25 grams of resin or oil, or 1 kilogram of plant material, or 20 plants, you can be sentenced to 21 years in prison.
However, cases like this generally don’t reach that long of a sentence.
Possessing, using, or growing lower amounts will result in a maximum penalty of up to 100 units, or $17,200, and 4 years imprisonment.
The Northern Territory also uses penalty units when dealing with drug offenses.
As of July 2020, one penalty unit is $158.
Possession of fewer than 50 grams of cannabis will result in a fine.
However, this fine can reach up to 50 units, or $7,900, which you have to pay within 28 days. Failure to do so will lead to a conviction.
Growing cannabis in the Northern Territories without a medical prescription can get you into a lot of trouble.
Here are the corresponding fines/penalties listed by increasing quantity:
- Less than trafficable quantity (less than 50 grams or fewer than 5 plants) – 200 penalty units ($31,600) or imprisonment for 2 years
- Trafficable quantity (50 – 500 grams or 5 – 19 plants) – 7 years imprisonment
- Commercial quantity (More than 500 grams or more than 20 plants) – 25 years imprisonment
So what about cannabis seeds then?
The legality of cannabis seeds is the same as cannabis itself.
Although widely classed as illegal, they are decriminalized in most states.
Prosecutors would need to prove that you were growing weed seeds.
This is a tricky job when many people claim they are souvenirs and not intended for germination.
Is It Safe To Buy Cannabis Seeds Online in Australia?
Now that we know the legality of marijuana in each state, you’re probably thinking “yeah, yeah… just tell me if I’m going to get busted if I buy cannabis seeds in Australia.”
This is a bit more complicated to answer and should be in no way taken as legal advice.
However, here’s my take on it.
Thousands of weed seed packages are sent through Australian customs every day, and 99% of them will make it through without fuss.
These days, reliable seed banks use excellent stealth methods to avoid detection.
The better ones will even guarantee delivery.
In the unlikely scenario that your package is opened and your seeds are found, the most likely outcome is you’ll get a letter through your door.
It will inform you about the seized package.
The letter would also include a scary warning not to do it again or face prosecution.
The reality is that this letter is a template sent to hundreds of people each day.
As long as you live in a tolerant state and are not ordering huge amounts of seeds, it’s very unlikely you would be prosecuted.
That said, I would not recommend one person racking these up under their name either.
Everyone will have a different degree of risk that they’re comfortable with.
How Are Cannabis Seeds Shipped to Australia?
Most of the more reliable seed shops will go to great lengths to package your cannabis seeds securely and stealthily.
Sometimes marijuana seeds are shipped with a random stealth product such as a DVD case so that the seeds cannot be felt.
Most decent marijuana seed companies have a 99% success rate when delivering to Australia.
Are There Any Good Australian Based Seed Banks?
Looking to buy your cannabis seeds in Australia?
As I mentioned earlier, the sale and supply of cannabis seeds in Australia are still illegal to anyone without a medical prescription.
So it’s surprising to see the names of three Australian based seed banks pop up during my research.
Let’s take a closer look at them…
Australian Seed Bank
After poking around on their website for a few minutes, it’s pretty obvious that Australian Seed Bank is not a legit seed bank.
When you click “buy now” on a strain, you get redirected to a European seed bank.
Yes, if you place an order, seeds will probably arrive – but from a seed bank in Europe and NOT Australia.
Caveman seeds seem to be harder to figure out.
Looking at Reddit and Trustpilot, they seem legit but have very mixed reviews.
They also don’t have a very professional looking site or answers to common questions.
I would stay clear of this company until they are more transparent.
Aussie Canna Seeds
Aussie Canna Seeds is another local cannabis seed shop that seems to be legit ( as far as I can tell on forums).
However, they have a very shady looking website with absolutely no policies to show.
They aren’t even currently showing any strains for sale online.
I’d advise you to look for your cannabis seeds elsewhere.
For the time being, it seems as though buying cannabis seeds from Australian based companies is a bit sketchy.
International Seed Banks That Ship To Australia
If you want to buy cannabis seeds in Australia, your best bet is to order your cannabis seeds from a reliable seed bank in the EU.
The two I recommend below offer a large selection of strains, and more importantly a germination guarantee.
I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM)
ILGM would be my top pick for anyone ordering cannabis seeds from Australia.
Why? well, they offer a 100% delivery & Germination guarantee.
This means that if your seeds don’t arrive, they will send them again free of charge.
They will also replace any seeds that do not germinate without any questions asked.
- Located in Amsterdam
- Shipping to Australia is FREE on orders over USD 150.
- Shipping to Australia is $25 for orders below USD 150.
- Shipping time to Austalia is 2-10 days
- All packages shipped discretely
- High-quality seeds
Seedsman is another one of my favorite online seed banks due to their super low strain prices (much lower than ILGM).
They guarantee delivery, but they won’t guarantee the germination of your cannabis seeds if you live in a state that does not allow germination.
So you have to weigh your options. Should you buy cannabis seeds for less with Seedsman or enjoy a 100% germination guarantee from ILGM?
- Located in Barcelona
- Shipping time to Austalia is 7-25 days
- Discrete shipping options available
- High-quality seeds
Buying Marijuana Seeds in Australia FAQ
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Australia?
Yes, medical marijuana is legal, however, it is still heavily regulated.
Aussie doctors will prescribe you medical cannabis for valid medical conditions.
When Will Marijuana Be Legal in Australia?
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) passed a vote that will make marijuana all but legal for recreational use.
However, it may be some time yet before it is legalized at the federal level.
Until that day comes, you’ll have to be careful about growing your weed seeds.
Final Thoughts – Guide To Cannabis Seeds Australia
Trying to buy weed seeds on the internet when you’re down under can be a daunting thought.
But the reality is that you’re very unlikely to be prosecuted if your package is one of the tiny numbers that are seized.
As long as you buy your weed seeds from a reliable place and don’t go crazy with your order size, you should be fine.