Can You Legally Buy Cannabis Seeds Online?
A substantial number of states allow medical marijuana, along with a growing number of places that have legalized recreational cannabis. The public is becoming more aware of the potential benefits of marijuana. People also realize that the damaging side effects of cannabis are often overstated, although some are real. Nonetheless, there is a softening in the stance towards the plant, which is even apparent on a political level.
As well as allowing people to use weed, an increasing number of states are relaxing restrictions on growing it at home.
You’ll need seeds to do so, but this is where it gets complicated for American residents in particular. Even if you live in California, where it is legal to grow cannabis at home, and purchase seeds from a Colorado-based seed bank, your package can STILL be confiscated.
Indeed, you could get in more trouble buying seeds from within the US than from an overseas country! This is the reason why most reputable seed banks that you hear about are located in Europe! This article delves deeper into the legality surrounding the purchase of cannabis seeds in the United States and offers tips to ensure you buy a high-quality product.
Marijuana Seeds Law
Cannabis remains a federally illegal substance in the United States. The plant’s seeds are also classified as cannabis, just like concentrate, flower, or edibles. As cannabis seeds are legal in certain states, seed banks operate within America’s borders. However, most of the best-known sellers operate in Canada or Europe. Let’s find out who can purchase seeds in the United States.
Is It Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds Online in Any State?
As the nation’s cannabis laws state that the substance is federally illegal, it is technically against the law to buy, sell, or use it anywhere in the country. Indeed, the federal government could arrest someone for consuming cannabis if they so choose because federal law supersedes state law.
However, a majority of states allow medical marijuana, and a growing number permit adult-use cannabis. At present, the United States government has shown no indication that it wishes to interfere with a state’s right to legalize marijuana.
The current situation means you can legally get a cannabis seed from a dispensary in states where recreational cannabis is legal. In medical marijuana states, you’ll need to produce an MMJ card. Otherwise, you’re not allowed to purchase cannabis seeds.
Things are different online. It is illegal to transport cannabis seeds across state lines regardless of whether the plant is legal in both states. Therefore, you can only buy the seeds online if the seller is located within your state, and it is a location where adult-use marijuana is allowed.
Of course, you can take the risk of having your seeds confiscated by trying to order online anyway.
Is There Any Reputable American Seed Bank?
Although the United States is one of the world’s most progressive countries in marijuana legalization, the plant remains federally illegal. As long as this remains the case, users face all manner of complications. Ultimately, purchasing marijuana seeds online is only possible if you live in one of a select few states.
If you are concerned about legal issues, we recommend purchasing your seeds directly from a dispensary rather than buying them online. However, residents of Colorado should have no difficulties in theory. Stores such as The Farm and The Green Solution regularly advertise their online seed options. It should be a quick and easy process to buy them online if you are a resident of Colorado.
Elsewhere, it can be a matter of pot luck (pun intended). First and foremost, we can only recommend online seed purchases if you live in a state where growing marijuana at home is legal. If your package gets intercepted, you could face legal consequences, although this unfortunate situation is relatively rare.
You need a reputable seed bank capable of shipping to numerous states that understands the need for discretion. Such companies know how to package their goods to evade detection. If the seeds are confiscated, the firm will either send a new package for free or refund your money.
Which American Seeds Banks Are the Best?
California-based I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) is one of the most trustworthy seed sellers we have found in the United States. The website and store are run by Robert Bergman, who is an expert marijuana cultivator. He offers dozens of options and provides FREE shipping to customers in the United States and Europe.
Rocket Seeds is another American seed bank with a positive reputation. It operates out of the Bronx, New York, and is famed for its rapid shipping.
There are numerous Canadian seed banks known for selling excellent products. Noteworthy brands include Crop Seed Kings, MJSeeds, and Beaver Seeds.
Certain online marijuana seed sellers in the United States try to use subterfuge to ensure their customers receive the seeds.
It is possible to buy seeds from stores only if they are ‘used’ as luxury bird food or fishing bait additives.
In February 2015, one month after cannabis legalization went into effect in Washington D.C., the D.C. Cannabis Campaign organized a ‘seed sharing’ event in the country’s capital. As part of the new law, anyone aged 21+ who attended the event was legally allowed to receive an ounce of seeds. Unfortunately, the laws surrounding purchasing marijuana seeds online in the US have remained as clear as mud in the years since.
European Marijuana Seed Banks
Many of the American seed banks that offer marijuana seeds source them from a seed bank in a European country. When we bemoan the issues that cause federal and state laws to become unclear and confusing, it is important to remember that the US is effectively a continent with 50 different states and additional territories.
Europe is also a continent, and it also has more than 50 countries. The laws surrounding marijuana seeds vary according to each nation but become less confusing because they are separate states. That’s not to say that things don’t become complex!
In principle, cannabis seeds are not illegal in Europe, and it is possible to purchase seeds from another country. In general, when a product enters a European country, it becomes subject to that nation’s laws. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, a 1962 framework for marijuana legalization, is an international treaty that was signed by 180 countries.
In the treaty, marijuana is classed as an illegal substance, but marijuana seeds are not illegal. As international law takes precedence over a country’s own laws, cannabis seeds are technically legal in all 180 countries. Alas, it isn’t as easy as that, and it is much safer to purchase seeds from one European country than another. Here’s a look at marijuana seed laws in a few major European nations:
- Germany: As seeds don’t fall under the German Narcotics Act, they are technically legal to purchase. However, Germany has prohibited the sale of cannabis seeds across the nation, the only EU member state to have done so. As Germany is subject to the EU’s free movement of goods, having seeds sent to Germany is fine.
- United Kingdom: At present, the UK allows for the purchase, sale, or trade of cannabis seeds whether you purchase them domestically or from another European nation. American buyers tend to use UK sellers such as Seedsman, who have been selling seeds globally since 2003. However, we’re not sure what will happen once the UK has left the EU. By the way, UK residents are not allowed to germinate cannabis seeds.
- Netherlands: It is shocking to learn that despite the nation’s relaxed attitude towards marijuana, it is still illegal! However, you should have no issue purchasing cannabis seeds from a Dutch-based seed company. Companies such as Nirvana, MSNL Seeds, and Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds also enjoy good reputations.
- France: Cannabis seeds are legal as long as they are not used for growing. However, you will struggle to find any reputable French cannabis seed dealer.
- Spain: Spain has a similarly lenient policy as the UK. Residents can buy and sell seeds as long as they are for personal use in private areas. Shops need legal authorization to sell seeds. Alicante-based Herbie’s Seeds is a highly rated seed bank.
Types of Marijuana Seeds Available
There are three distinct types of marijuana seeds.
Regular Marijuana Seeds
These seeds come from one female and one male parent. As a result, there is a 50/50 chance that the plant will be the feminized version that carries all of those wonderful cannabinoids. As you have no control of the plant’s gender, there is a chance that you’ll waste weeks waiting for the gender to be revealed.
Feminized Marijuana Seeds
You should purchase feminized seeds instead of their regular counterparts. These seeds have no male chromosomes and are guaranteed to provide resinous bud. In other words, you don’t have to wait for a guarantee which is NOT the case with ‘regular’ seeds.
Autoflowering Marijuana Seeds
This type of seed is your best option if you want to grow your weed indoors. These seeds have genetics that evolved in northern Eurasia which means they are strong and sturdy. They are mixed with Cannabis Ruderalis, a plant known for its ability to grow in harsh weather conditions.
One of the biggest advantages of autoflowering seeds is their ability to produce a minimum of two outdoor crops. When you grow them indoors, however, you can produce four or five crops per annum. Certain strains can become mature in just ten weeks! They are heavily resistant to mold and pests and produce a much higher yield when exposed to a powerful light source.
How to Buy Cannabis Seeds Online Safely
Your safest bet is to stick to one of the reputable seedbanks outlined in this article. Look for companies that have been in the industry for a long time and have earned a significant number of positive customer reviews.
When you purchase a packet of marijuana seeds, make sure the seller explains where the seeds came from and how they were crossed or backcrossed. Don’t risk your money on seeds with no history because there’s no way of telling what you’ll end up with.
The top-rated seed banks are old hands when it comes to getting their products through customs. Some of them offer discreet shipping, which usually involves hiding the seeds in other objects. Therefore, even if a customs official opens the package, it looks like someone else.
The perfect place for seeds…
For your part, it makes sense to make a few small or medium orders. First of all, a large order could draw unwanted attention. Secondly, if one of the packages is confiscated, you won’t lose your entire order.
Finally, you could consider paying via cryptocurrency. Digital currencies such as Bitcoin leave no official record. The issue here is that the volatility of crypto means your order could become expensive in hindsight. Imagine paying in Bitcoin, only to discover that the digital currency’s value doubles in the following two weeks!
Final Thoughts on Buying Marijuana Seeds Online
As much as we would love to provide a definitive answer to the title question, we have to admit that it is complicated. You can purchase seeds within most states where growing marijuana is legal, but the issue is clouded by the fact that marijuana is federally illegal. Then there is the small matter of the nuances of state and even local law.
You should be able to purchase from seed banks in the UK and Netherlands, but make sure you do your research and find a reputable company. The last thing you want is to buy what you think are feminized seeds, only to discover that they are regular seeds capable of producing male plants!
EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo
Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.
Will Customs Confiscate My Cannabis Seeds?
Yes, but only if they find them! Some reputable seed banks claim that customs confiscate only 5% of their shipments. A growing number of seed banks use discreet shipping. This involves sending additional ‘gifts’ you didn’t order to conceal the seeds. You’ll receive a confiscation letter instead of the seeds if your purchase is halted at customs. However, the top-rated seed banks tend to offer a money-back guarantee if this happens.
Is It Illegal to Send Seeds in the Mail?
As cannabis is federally illegal, transporting the plant’s seeds across state lines is against the law. This is the case even if you are sending them from one adult-use state to another. However, there is little chance of getting into legal trouble. For a start, it is possible to buy them for research or collectible purposes rather than using them to grow plants.
You’re more likely to get in trouble for sending marijuana seeds from one state to another in America than sending them into the US from abroad. However, it is rare to hear of anyone getting into legal trouble for sending cannabis seeds in the mail. Usually, the worst-case scenario is that your seeds are confiscated.
Why Are Most of the Top Seed Banks International?
It is mainly due to legal issues. The world’s best seed banks are generally located in places like the Netherlands, UK, and Spain, where marijuana laws aren’t as strict as in the United States. US cannabis law means an American seed bank faces greater legal issues when sending products from one state to another than their international equivalent.
However, there are a few high-quality American seed banks, such as I Love Growing Marijuana.
Can Non-Residents Buy Seeds Online?
It is not a good idea! As marijuana is federally legal, non-residents can be deported from the United States if they have a job in a legal cannabis dispensary! Indeed, even the use of legal marijuana can result in deportation. Therefore, we would urge non-residents NOT to purchase cannabis seeds online or in a dispensary. Even if there is a relatively small chance of being caught, it isn’t worth the risk.
Is Ordering Cannabis Seeds Online Safe?
The answer is ‘yes,’ but only as long as you buy the seeds from a reputable seed bank. Apart from I Love Growing Marijuana, MSNL Seed Bank, Crop Seed Kings, and Sensi Seeds have all established a reputation for high-quality seeds. These companies provide seeds with a high germination rate and offer an excellent range of strains.
Where to Buy Cannabis Seeds Online: 5 Best Seed Banks to Order Marijuana Seeds in the USA
This makes it difficult to find a reliable, high-quality seed bank in the United States, depending on an individual’s residing state.
The purpose of this review is to lay out the details of the top seed banks online.
How the Seed Banks Were Evaluated:
- Discussion with experts – Interviews and conversation with marijuana growers who order their seeds online.
- Website comparison – In-depth compare and contrast of online seed banks, evaluating delivery, strains, customer service, and more.
Top 5 Seed Banks Online
Below is a detailed list of the 5 best seed banks that will ship to the USA.
1. ILGM (I Love Growing Marijuana) – Best overall, most reliable
Robert Bergman is the founder of ILGM, which he started in 2012. He has more than 25 years of experience in the field and has learned many tips and tricks along the way.
Over time, his site has become one of the most trusted locations worldwide for Americans and Europeans buying marijuana seeds. There is an average delivery time of 10 days.
One thing that stands out about this site is the number of options and categories for all types of growers. On the main menu, consumers choose from beginner seeds, auto flowers, feminized seeds, medical seeds, mixed packs, grow kits, special deals, and seed-growing nutrients. All their seeds come with a germination guarantee and are authentic strains.
Also on offer are seeds for warm and cool climates, outdoor and indoor growing, high CBD, high yielding, high THC concentration, and more. Included in the top strains on offer are Blueberry Autoflower, Bergman’s Gold Leaf, Gorilla Glue, Girl Scout Cookies Extreme, and White Widow.
Also available are multiple purchase methods including credit and debit cards, bank deposits and transfers, and Bitcoin. Standard shipping is free, and tracked shipping costs $25.
and promotions every month
- Reputable company with a high rating
- Money-back guarantee, and no dud seeds
- Packaging is discreet
- Free shipping to the US and Europe
- Sells the best-known strains
- Large variety of products
- Growing guidebook and round-the-clock support
- Not available in certain states
- Tracking delivery costs $25
2. Crop King Seeds – Great variety of strains
This seed site is easy to use and offers loads of choices, from different seed types to germination guides. It is the perfect place to shop for beginner growers. Choose from high CBD strains, autoflower options, and more.
On the site, the company has a regulated review system with a structure worked into the database that does not allow for biased or paid reviewers to comment. This five-crown rating offers useful feedback from regular clients.
Use the filters when shopping to help narrow down which products are best. Regular shipping costs $10, express shipping is available at $30, and shipping is free on orders of over $300.
- Free shipping on orders over $300
- Germination rate of 80 percent
- Special ranking and feedback system
- Germination guide
- THC-CBD infographics
- Standard $10 delivery fee
- One to two-week shipping time
- Website is pretty basic, geared towards beginners only
3. Rocket Seeds – Best for discreet packaging and shipping
This Dutch company has been in business for over 20 years and sells a variety of seeds from feminized to outdoor, indoor, autoflowering, and more. They are known for their discreet shipping, where seeds are stored in random objects for confidentiality.
The website offers an entertaining quiz for consumers to find the best seeds for them. It includes details like weed preference and growing conditions. Not only is it a fun feature, but the quiz also helps beginners choose their seeds wisely.
Germination rate with MSNL is 90 percent, and all seeds are hand-checked by their Amsterdam-based staff. They stock all the major brands including Northern lights, Buddha, and White Widow. Each new order comes with a free surprise such as seeds and other products.
Delivery is free for bulk orders, while standard shipping is around $6.25. It normally takes around one to two weeks. Payment options include check, Bitcoin, bank wire, cash, debit and credit cards. Bitcoin users receive a 15 percent discount.
- Stealth shipping
- 15 percent discount for Bitcoin orders
- High reputation since 1999
- Fun quiz for choosing seeds
- Cannabis Cup and High Times Cup award winners
- Different shipping options available
- Free seeds with new orders
- Wide variety of products
- International shipping is very slow
- Only bulk deliveries get free shipping
- Charts for seed strains are confusing
4. Seedsman – Best for specialized strains
This site is geared to users with experience and is one of the most trusted companies that ships to the US. Each year, growers can submit their crops in photo form to the “Photo Cup” competition.
Seedsman offers an enormous amount of licensed breeders, all listed in alphabetical order. For those on the lookout for a specific big-name breeder, Seedsman probably has it. Popular strains available include Sour Diesel, Skunk, and White Widow, along with a great selection of autoflowering and feminized seeds.
The company stocks specific categories and many award-winning seeds, including products for growing at high-altitude and mold-resistant strains.
Each purchase comes with free seeds and loyalty points. Two discounts are on offer for Bitcoin users, including 15 percent off with every order and 25 percent for the first purchase. On the downside, the delivery charge and insurance fee cost $8.98 and $9.04, respectively.
- Special discounts for Bitcoin payments
- Loyalty points system
- Organized breeders’ list
- Every order includes free seeds
- Always plenty in stock
- Storage jars, hemp bags, and other accessories available
- Website is full of cheesy ads
- Steep delivery charges and insurance
- Reviews on the site seem biased
5. QCS (Quebec Cannabis Seeds) – Best for experienced growers
QCS has been supplying Canada and the rest of the world with great seeds for two decades, and their website has been active for 15 years. Choose from regular or special edition seeds, outdoor, indoor, feminized, autoflower, and much more.
The website allows for special strain requests that are not listed among the available products. QCS cares about their customers’ safety, too, offering discreet shipping.
Even though the company is Canadian, they accept payments in USD, so there is no need to worry about conversions.
- Discreet name used for credit card purchases
- 20 percent discount for Bitcoin customers
- Decades of experience
- Great variety of seeds available
- Credit card fee of 3.8 percent
- Minimum order of $70
- $10 standard shipping option only
- The website is basic with few additional details
Seed Banks FAQ
Q. How do Seed Banks Work in the USA?
A: Each state has their own laws regarding marijuana seeds, so most seed banks use an old souvenir law to get over the legal hurdles and do their business. As long as the seeds aren’t germinated they are free to mail them to you as a souvenir or for bird food/fish bait. Go to any major seed bank’s website such as ILGM and you will see a disclaimer page that announces this.
Q: Is It Safe to Buy Seeds Online?
A: Because of the many unreliable vendors selling low-quality products, it makes sense to wonder whether it’s safe to order seeds online. Fortunately, there’s minimal risk associated with ordering from online seed banks. Even customs laws shouldn’t be an issue. Some people are concerned that if their order is intercepted, they’ll end up on the law’s wrong side.
However, in most cases, the seeds won’t be detected. To guarantee this, most seed bank companies offer stealth shipping for customers worried about interception. It’s a discreet way of shipping orders where seeds are placed inside some ordinary objects like DVD cases before shipping; hence the package doesn’t raise suspicion.
Despite this, experts still advise customers against requesting expedited delivery or a shipping method that requires a signature. This helps avoid drawing attention to the package or being forced to sign for the delivery.
Individuals should also consider the payment method they’re using. Bitcoin is usually recommended as it’s encrypted and untraceable. Though, customers can choose to pay using credit cards since purchases are insured and protected.
ILGM is undoubtedly the best seed bank out there that offers US shipping. However, every site on this list is thoroughly vetted, high-reputed, and has a lot to offer.