If your business will include cannabis growing or cultivation, then you are probably wondering how to get your hands on weed seeds. legally. Before taking that step, though, make sure your business has the necessary license to operate legally in your state.
It is also an option to buy cannabis seeds online from an online seed bank and then have the seeds shipped to you, so long as you are abiding by state law. The risk here is that your package could still be confiscated. While it is unlikely that you would face criminal charges, there is no guarantee because of the way federal law treats marijuana products.
First and Foremost: Know Your State Laws
You shouldn’t have any trouble buying cannabis seeds in another state or country if it’s legal there. It’s bringing the seeds back to your home state that can get you into trouble.
Thinking about starting your own cannabusiness? You are not alone. From CBD to medical marijuana to edibles, legal cannabis has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, with few signs of slowing down any time soon.
If you live in a state that permits the sale of marijuana seeds, your best bet is to shop locally for high-quality seeds. This means visiting a dispensary, local farmers market, or seed company in your state to make your purchase. There, you can get the in-person help you need to make your purchase legally.
US trade laws are subject to robust enforcement, frequently resulting in significant fines, reputational damage, and settlement agreements that impose compliance program obligations on companies. It is safe to assume that imports and exports of these products could receive greater scrutiny by the US regulators, at least for the time being while the industry matures. In order to mitigate the risk of violations, companies interested in importing or exporting legal hemp and CBD products should develop and maintain compliance programs designed to ensure compliance with US export controls, sanctions, and customs laws and regulations. This includes procedures for product classification, licensing determinations, and restricted party screening processes.
How should you ensure compliance?
As the market for hemp derived CBD has exploded, there is increasing interest in international trade in these products and the materials used to make them, including in the United States. For example, a US-based manufacturer of hemp-derived CBD edibles might import the active ingredient for manufacturing and then export the finished product overseas. US-based companies could also be interested in importing or exporting raw materials such as industrial hemp, hemp seeds, or other hemp-derived products.
Even where a product appears to be EAR99 based on a self-classification, there still may be benefit to obtaining a formal CCATS from BIS. First, this could avoid questions from US Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), which enforces US export control laws at the border and which might question whether the products are described in an ECCN on the CCL. Second, it could be helpful to have a CCATS on hand to provide to other parties involved in the transaction that may want assurances that the export is in compliance with US export control laws, such as banks, intermediaries, and customers.
The first step in determining whether a particular export is permissible under US export controls laws is determining whether the product is described in an export control classification number (“ECCN”) set out in the Commerce Control List (“CCL”) in Part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). The EAR are enforced by the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) in the US Commerce Department. The ECCN can be determined in one of several ways, including by self-classifying the product based on a review of the CCL, or by asking BIS for a formal commodity classification ruling referred to as a “CCATS”. Products that are not described on the CCL are assigned a catch-all classification of EAR99, which means they generally do not require a BIS license for export to most destinations. It seems unlikely to us that a hemp or CBD product would be described on the CCL. However, reaching an ECCN determination requires a detailed understanding of a product’s technical parameters, so this review should be conducted by knowledgeable trade compliance counsel with input from product experts at the company.
Notwithstanding the legality of these products, there continue to be reports of seizures of legal CBD products imported into the United States. This may be due to the difficulty of distinguishing legal (i.e., hemp-derived) CBD from illegal (i.e., marijuana-derived) CBD without extensive laboratory analysis, and/or it could be due to confusion on the part of CBP officials about what is permitted. For example, in a lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Central District of California, a US-based CBD company alleged that CBP had illegally seized four shipments of Spanish-origin hemp between 2015 and 2018. Three of the shipments are alleged to have been destroyed in part because CBP improperly determined the imports contained controlled substances, notwithstanding documentation from the Spanish growers that the hemp had less than 0.3% THC, making it legal under federal law. The lawsuit has since been settled.
What should you know about US export controls and economic sanctions?
USA inhabitants face conflicting regulations. On the federal level, cannabis seeds aren’t legal. This also applies to importing cannabis seeds from outside the US. Even when living in states such as Michigan, Oklahoma, Vermont, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Columbia where it’s perfectly legal to grow medical marijuana and in some cases even for personal recreational use.
Living in Germany and planning to buy cannabis seeds? Good news! Even though Germany is the only European country that prohibits the sale of cannabis seeds, there is free movement of goods within the EU. It’s therefore permitted to receive cannabis seeds in Germany.
Is it possible to legally buy cannabis seeds online in Canada?
In addition, in spite of the 1962 treaty most countries have their own point of view regarding cannabis seeds. We therefore strongly advise everyone to check the legality of cannabis seeds in their own country before buying.
South Africa has decriminalized the use of cannabis in a private room, but there are still many questions. For example, whether you can buy cannabis seeds legally.
In short: cannabis seeds are illegal for non-medicinal users and it can be hard to order cannabis seeds online as many seed banks such as Nirvana stopped shipping to Australia. Especially as many shipments were confiscated. Nevertheless, Australian customers can still order cannabis seeds in online stores. Here at Weedseedsexpress but also at ILGM. Just like ILGM, Weedseedsexpress has developed great stealth shipping methods with which almost all shipments pass customs.