Ahh yes, the lovely and enchanting cannabis seed. Posing the same query as the perennial chicken vs. egg debate, cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs have been mystified by this miracle plant for millennium. A cannabis seed is both the genesis of and subsequent by-product of a mature cannabis plant and allows its offspring to carry characteristics from one or both parents. These plants are dioeciously structured—their male and female organs develop on separate individuals. Cannabis plants that are grown without male genes are used to produce high potency marijuana. Flowers from the female plants create seeds, which drop from the plant and can be used to produce new cannabis plants or are harvested for the production of hemp oil or food.
Cannabis Seeds and the Police
On a strictly federal level, cannabis seeds along with all other forms of marijuana are illegal under the Controlled Substance Act. This designation reflects the DEA’s shocking and nearly incomprehensible understanding that marijuana has no medicinal value and yields a high likelihood for abuse. To better contextualize this absurdity, other drugs that have been relegated to the same schedule 1 classification include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Clearly, a change is long past due.
Theoretically (and indeed now more likely under a Trump administration), federal agents could raid and seize an individual’s/company’s collection of seeds. State legislatures have taken it upon themselves to push back against this federal senselessness and develop recreational and medical programs that allow cannabis growers certain flexibility in seed cultivation.
Cannabis Seeds and State Rights
In States where cannabis is legal, either medicinally or recreationally, the parameters surrounding the purchasing, selling, and indeed cultivating marijuana vary. For instance, if an individual lives in Alaska, he or she can legally purchase enough seeds to grow six plants for recreational use. However, an individual who lives in Pennsylvania cannot legally purchase any seeds, as cannabis production for recreational use is not allowed. Even more idiosyncratically, States have differing views on the number of plants that can be in flower while in possession of the individual.
Cannabis Seeds for the Obscure
Less controversially, cannabis seeds can be purchased without too great of a legal concern if the seeds are used for non-marijuana plant producing purposes. For example, purchasing marijuana seeds for use as fishing bait, bird food, preservation or other more abstract purposes is totally legitimate. The reason why individuals may want to use cannabis seeds for less conventional purposes is due to the seeds’ high protein, amino acid, and vitamin components. All websites that sell cannabis seeds should strive to avoid the dangerous legal consequences of selling marijuana inappropriately to non-sanctioned buyers. Ultimately, like all things cannabis, there is unfortunately still a risk involved for both the buyer and the seller.
Abe Cohn is the COO of CLG, a team of Marijuana lawyers specializing in legal protection for the cannabis industry. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.cohnlg.com/