Whether you’re thinking of starting your own cannabis growing business or looking to cultivate a few plants for personal use, the first step (or at least, the first step where you may run into any trouble) is seeds.
Once you’ve got your space picked out and prepared, you’ll need to figure out where, and how, to purchase the seeds. Here are a few quick tips to make that process easier.
Figure Out What Your State Laws Are
At this point, state laws make all the difference in your cannabis growing enterprise. The first difference to be aware of is that laws governing the growing of plants for personal use are vastly different than those governing growing for commercial use.
Most states that have full recreational legalization laws allow growing a limited number of plants for your personal use, but the number and condition can vary. California and Alaska for instance, allow individuals to grow up to six plants at once. Colorado also allows six, but only three can be flowering at once. Michigan allows up to 12. Oregon allows only four. States with legal medical use are even more varied. The point is you should carefully research your state laws on growing for personal use.
If you’re planning on growing for commercial use (or growing as a caregiver) you will need a permit. That much doesn’t vary by state. What does vary is the process for getting that permit. Some states dispense licenses much more easily and cheaply than others. The cost can vary from a few hundred dollars to literally hundreds of thousands, and often depends on the size of your intended operation. Again, all of this should be researched before making a major commitment. The last thing you want is to discover that there are no licenses currently available, or that you’ve been priced out of acquiring one.
If there’s any confusion (and even if there’s not) you should consult an attorney. States with full legalization measures in place or upcoming have attorneys that specialize in cannabusiness.
Where to Buy
If you’re in a state that has fully legalized cannabis, you’re likely to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to purchase options. Buying locally will give you a chance to consult with growers, ask any questions, and make sure that what you’re buying is exactly what you’re looking for. If this is an option that is at all available to you, it should be your first choice.
Buying local will not only give you better control over what you’re purchasing, and more insight into the final product, it avoids any pesky legal situations that may result from buying across state lines, whether that’s online or in person.
If buying local isn’t an option, your next best choice is purchasing online. You may not get the personal, hands-on help of buying in person, but key information will be clearly displayed. Many sellers can be contacted for support and additional questions you may have.
There are, however, risks to purchasing online. They won’t be as great as transporting the seeds yourself, but they do exist. The most likely thing to happen (though it’s a small chance) is that your package will be confiscated. It’s still not legal to bring seeds across state lines, so if your package gets intercepted you could have spent your money on nothing. There’s a very slim chance of federal charges, but it’s rare, especially for small quantities, and it’s equally if not more likely they’ll target the seller.
Okay, yes, technically you can do this. If you travel to a state where cannabis is legal, you can usually buy the seeds without issue. If you live in a state where cannabis is legal, or you’ve secured the correct grow permits, having them once you get home is also not going to be an issue.
Where you’re going to run into trouble is all the stuff in between. Again, it’s currently not legal for cannabis seeds to cross state lines, so even going from a legal state to a legal state (Oregon to Washington, for instance) potentially runs the risk of a federal charge. The risk of this happening may be low, especially between legal states, but it exists and so this is NOT a recommended method of purchase. The risk is even higher if either state or any state you’re passing through does not currently allow the sale or cultivation of cannabis.
All this to say, you’ll be far better off buying local. You’ll be able to ask as many questions as you want, and in many cases even examine and sample the final versions of the seeds you’re buying. Also, the connections you’ll make with other growers, dispensaries, or seed banks in doing so will be rewarding from both a personal and commercial standpoint. Buy local if it’s even remotely feasible.
How much do seeds cost?
The cost of seeds is going to depend on the quantity and strain that you’re buying. Typically you can expect to pay around $50 for a single pack of seeds, which contains 10-12. Designer strains can cost more, and in some cases, you’ll see packs of seeds that come in as high as $500. If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably want to start with a less costly pack of seeds. The last thing you need is to drop hundreds of dollars on seeds and find out your grow space wasn’t set up correctly.
If you’re buying in exceptionally large quantities, discounts may be available, and you’ll want to contact wholesale suppliers for pricing. The price will again depend on the strain and quantity that you’re buying.
Whether you’re growing for personal use or trying to start your own grow business, growing your own cannabis plants can be a fun and rewarding way to get involved in the culture. The most important thing is that you fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities before you begin.