Thinking about buying cannabis seeds online in the United States? This guide is for you.
In this article, I’ll cover whether it’s legal to buy cannabis seeds online in the US, as well as some vital tips for ordering your seeds safely.
Table of contents
- Are Cannabis Seeds Legal In The US?
- Which States Can You Buy, Grow & Use Cannabis Legally?
- Is Buying Cannabis Seeds Online In The US Safe?
- What Happens If My Seeds Are Stopped By Customs?
- How To Minimize The Risk
- Are there Any Good USA Based Seed Banks?
- What Seed Banks Ship To The USA?
- What Are the Types of Cannabis Seeds Available?
- How Will Cannabis Laws in the US change?
- FAQs on Buying Cannabis Seeds in the United States
- Final Thoughts About Buying Cannabis Seeds in the USA
Are Cannabis Seeds Legal In The US?
On a federal level, buying cannabis seeds is illegal.
However, states can choose not to enforce federal law.
This is why some states can legally allow recreational marijuana use, as well as its cultivation.
This can get confusing for people looking to buy cannabis seeds to grow at home.
To understand if you can grow cannabis seeds legally, let’s first discuss…
Which States Can You Buy, Grow & Use Cannabis Legally?
As of 2020, you can use cannabis for medical and recreational purposes in these states:
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Washington (state)
- The District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)
Meanwhile, only medical cannabis is legal in these states:
- Connecticut *
- Delaware *
- Hawaii *
- Minnesota *
- Missouri *
- New Mexico *
- New Hampshire *
- New Jersey
- New York *
- North Dakota *
- Ohio *
- Rhode Island *
- West Virginia
*Denotes states where recreational cannabis use has been decriminalized.
As you can see, there’s plenty of states where you can use cannabis legally.
However, they vary on how much you can have on you.
Laws on growing marijuana also differ among states.
Even among areas where recreational use is legal, the amount of marijuana plants you can legally grow is regulated.
For example, Alaska allows for up to 12 cannabis plants in a household with 2 adults aged 21 and above.
Meanwhile, California and Colorado allow only 6 cannabis plants per household.
Oregon is even more stringent with only 4 plants allowed per home.
In states where only medical cannabis is legal, growing your own cannabis is illegal.
For a quick reference, here are the states where you can grow your own cannabis.
Is Buying Cannabis Seeds Online In The US Safe?
That depends on where you’re buying your cannabis seeds.
Choosing reputable seed banks ensures that they’ll actually arrive.
Another factor is the state where you live.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Colorado or California, you can simply buy them at your local dispensary.
But if you don’t?
Then you’ll have to buy marijuana seeds online.
Again, seed bank reviews will help you choose a good seller.
However, it’s probably not a good idea to buy cannabis seeds in states where it isn’t legal, like Idaho or Nebraska.
Growing them in these areas is a felony.
The chances of your package getting seized by customs will be a lot higher there than in other states.
What Happens If My Seeds Are Stopped By Customs?
There’s a chance they’ll get confiscated, even if you live in a state that allows you to grow them.
When that happens, customs officials will destroy your package.
They’ll also send you a letter telling you that your shipment doesn’t comply with government regulations.
This will be an unpleasant experience, but you likely won’t face any prosecution for this.
And if you bought your cannabis seeds from a reputable seller, they’ll often reship your order for free.
However, try not to get too many of these letters.
They’re essentially warnings that can escalate into actual legal action for repeated violations.
To avoid this, stick to proven sellers who have years of experience in shipping cannabis seeds safely.
How To Minimize The Risk
Again, this comes down a lot to your supplier.
The best seed banks use stealth methods to hide your cannabis seeds.
This helps ensure they go through United States customs smoothly.
Look for seed bank reviews online to get an idea of how successful they are at shipping to your area.
Most of them employ clever techniques such as placing your cannabis seeds inside a CD case so they can’t be felt.
Other use highly guarded trade secrets that you’ll only know upon buying from them.
Some of the best cannabis sellers have hiding methods so good that a few customers have complained that they can’t find it.
Are there Any Good USA Based Seed Banks?
The United States smokes a lot of weed.
But because cannabis seeds are still illegal on a federal level, local seed banks can’t operate the same way those in Europe do.
Here are some of the problems with American Seed Banks:
They Often Disappear
While cannabis cultivation is legal in most states, the Federal Government still controls the mail.
So shipments seized by customs mean trouble for the sender, aka the seed bank.
Repeated violations will lead to harsh legal penalties, which often causes the business to shut down.
Many Refuse to Accept Debit or Credit Cards
Most American seed banks accept only Bitcoin, certified checks, money orders or cash.
The problem with these options is there’s not much you can do if your order doesn’t arrive.
And if you had the bad luck of picking a sketchy seller, you could get scammed out of your hard-earned cash.
Again, this problem goes back to cannabis being illegal on a federal level.
Most banks in the United States opt to avoid trouble with the law by refusing to work with these local breeders.
This is why most American sellers run on cash, and why it’s hard for them to take non-cash payments.
Strain Quality Is Inconsistent
Cannabis breeders in Europe have a huge head start over American ones.
They’ve been in business since the ’80s, so the quality of their cannabis strain is well-established.
Local cannabis breeders have not been able to develop their strains because of the many gray areas in cannabis policy.
This leads to unreliable results like low THC levels, low yields, weak potency, etc.
Now there are great American breeders for sure.
The problem is it’s hard to tell who they are because they’re often listed with unknown or questionable breeders.
That’s why those who are serious about growing their own plants often prefer to have their weed seeds delivered from Europe.
On the flip side, there are advantages to buying local cannabis seeds as well.
Shipping is a Lot Faster
Since your weed seeds only have to cross state lines, you’ll often get them in a few days.
Lots of Exciting New Varieties – most European breeders prioritize consistency.
Meanwhile, Americans tend to be more experimental with their cannabis strains.
They will often develop varieties with unique appearances, high THC levels, and strong, exotic smells.
Where you buy your cannabis seeds will depend on your preferences.
Of course, buying local is the best option if you want to support your local cannabis community.
However, until the problems with American breeders are resolved, you’ll always have an easier time buying from European sellers.
Here are some of those advantages with getting your seeds abroad:
You’ll Pay Less
American strains can get quite pricey. This is due to their smaller company sizes.
Bigger companies can afford to price their products less because of the higher volume they produce.
An established seed bank from Europe will have the economy of scale on its side.
This allows them to produce high-quality seeds cheaper than their American counterparts.
And the more people buy cannabis seeds from them, the lower they can price them.
You Actually Help Protect Local Breeders
This sounds counter-intuitive.
How can you help local breeders by buying marijuana seeds abroad?
Well, you can thank the United States Federal Government for that.
When a shipment of cannabis seeds from Europe is confiscated at customs, the package is destroyed.
A warning letter also gets sent to you, but it stops there.
The fed won’t go after international sellers because they can’t.
Meanwhile, if they confiscate a shipment from an American seed bank, they will most likely go after them.
Especially if they’re based in a state where cannabis isn’t legal.
This is why a lot of local breeders go out of business before they get big enough.
You’ll Enjoy Consistent Quality
European breeders know what they’re doing.
They’ve been in business for decades.
Their cannabis seeds often grow with the qualities they claim, as long as you follow their growing instructions.
Yield and growth rates are often much better as well.
What Seed Banks Ship To The USA?
There are many European breeders that do shipping to the United States.
Just make sure you check for seed bank reviews online before buying from them.
Here are some of our top picks:
MSNL – MSNL is a London-based company that provides high-quality seeds sourced straight from Dutch growers.
This direct partnership allows them to sell at low prices.
They have multiple payment options, including Bitcoin, bank transfer, cash, credit card, or money order.
Crop King Seeds – This Canadian based company is a reputable breeder that ships globally.
They take pride in the quality of their cannabis seeds and their ability to deliver them to you discreetly.
Payment options include cash, credit card, bank transfer, and Bitcoin.
ILGM – I Love growing Marijuana is an Amsterdam based company founded in 2012 by Roger Bergman.
They’re one of the most trustworthy online sellers that ship to the US.
They have plenty of payment options, including cash, credit card, bank deposit, bank transfer, e-checks, and Bitcoin.
But before you go shopping, there’s one more thing you should know:
What Are the Types of Cannabis Seeds Available?
There are 3 main types, namely:
Seeds from both male and female parents.
This variety has a 50/50 chance of growing into a feminized plant that produces the wonderful cannabinoids that everyone loves.
Since you have no clue what gender the seeds will grow into, you’ll have to wait for them to mature to find out.
The most popular and preferred variety available.
With no male chromosomes, they are guaranteed to sprout a resinous bud.
Get these to ensure that your time spent growing the plant is worth it.
The best option for growing plants indoors. These specimens can withstand harsh weather conditions.
They also grow faster but can have lower THC levels.
However, they are also more resistant to mold and can produce four or five crops per annum.
How Will Cannabis Laws in the US change?
There is much reason for optimism in this area.
Now that marijuana is legal in some capacity in 33 states, many believe that wider adoption of these policies if not a matter of if, but when.
Medical and recreational legalization has done a lot to help de-stigmatize this wonderful plant.
Many people are now realizing its many benefits.
The bad reputation it gained from ignorance and misinformation is also quickly disappearing.
Still, there are challenges ahead.
President Nixon’s war on drugs (started in 1970) classified marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, making it on par with heroin and ecstasy.
This errant misclassification still stands today–making it illegal on a federal level in 2020.
Complicating things further are Donald Trump and the conservatives running the Justice Department and Congress.
Many of them have grown up with the firm belief that marijuana is bad.
They still have not changed their outdated stance despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
However, there is much hope in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized.
The community of cannabis lovers in these areas works tirelessly to de-stigmatize weed to the public.
They’re gaining new members fast too, thanks to seed-trading events that happen regularly.
Whether this thriving community can continue pushing against conservative leaders remains to be seen.
Cannabis will certainly remain a hot-button issue in the near future.
However, it’s slowly but surely going towards the direction of wider acceptance if history is any indication.
FAQs on Buying Cannabis Seeds in the United States
Why is Cannabis Still Illegal in the United States?
This is a long and complex discussion, but it boils down to xenophobia.
The Mexican Revolution of 1910 bought plenty of Mexican immigrants to the US, and these refugees bought cannabis with them.
The concept of using marijuana was strange and terrifying to Americans at that time.
This lead to many hysterical claims about the negative effects of cannabis and the “dangerous foreigners” who smoked them.
Thankfully, America has come a long way since.
Several states now allow the use of cannabis for recreational or medical purposes.
What Percentage of the Population Use Cannabis in the United States?
According to data from the UN, around 19.4% of the population used cannabis in 2019.
That’s roughly 1 in 5 people.
And with a population of 331 million, that comes to around 66.2 million people.
That’s a lot of smoke!
Where Can You Grow Cannabis in the United States?
You can grow your cannabis seeds into plants in the following states:
In the Federal District of Columbia, or Washington, DC , you can legally grow up to 6 plants (but only 3 can be mature at a time) for recreational purposes.
There is no provision for commercial recreational cultivation.
Final Thoughts About Buying Cannabis Seeds in the USA
Buying cannabis seeds in the United States can feel daunting, but it gets easier with a little research.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where recreational use is legal, there’s only a tiny chance of your package being seized.
Just make sure you buy from a reputable online supplier, and you should get them in 10 weeks or less.