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Only patients who have a valid prescription are allowed to use and possess medical cannabis grown in the country. Additionally, the cannabis must be approved under the Therapeutic Goods Act by national regulators who track and manage the medical marijuana program. As cannabis is legal for medical purposes only, the possession of seeds is allowed under the restriction that such seeds will be used to grow plants for strictly medical use. However, as noted, cannabis for recreational purposes is illegal – therefore, the question of how law enforcement officers would view the mere possession of cannabis seeds in a stand-alone container is not entirely clear. If the seeds are situated in such a way as to indicate that they are meant to be cultivated for recreational use, they will likely be deemed illegitimate and seized by law enforcement personnel.
This blog post is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice.
Current state of law on cannabis seeds in Australia
In sum, Australia currently only allows for medical cannabis use and the laws surrounding cannabis seeds are in line with this carve-out. The legal consequences of buying cannabis seeds exists along a continuum and is to a large extent, a function of both the the perceived intent of the seller or purchaser and the state/province where the purchase has taken place. Therefore, if approached, it is important to make it clear to law enforcement officials that one’s cannabis seeds are being used for either medical purposes or non-marijuana related purposes, such as collector’s items or souvenirs.
Theoretically, marijuana dispensaries may sell cannabis seeds for the sole purpose of enabling individuals, who have a valid prescription to use marijuana, the ability to grow in their own home. It is extremely important for business owners to communicate to consumers that the germination, trafficking, and/or non-medical use of such products is illegal. Lastly, business owners would be wise to warn customers that questions or inquiries related to the germination or growth of cannabis seeds will lead to a refusal to sell.
Despite cannabis’s illegality in Australia, the country boasts several dispensaries, which currently sell seeds in addition to a growing number of \ online seed banks in and outside of the country, which cater to Australians. Depending on the state/province, individuals who purchase seeds and are caught growing and/or trafficking in large quantities will likely be arrested and subject to jail time and/or heavy fines.
No criminal charges will be filed against you in this state if you possess under 10 grams of weed, or grow it. You will however have to attend a Cannabis Intervention Session.
In this state, you can get off with a caution 3 times in 10 years, unless you possess more than 50 grams.
As mentioned before, selling cannabis seeds is illegal in Australia. This makes it difficult to buy them there, but importing seeds from elsewhere is an option. Please remember that you can only grow a small number of plants without risking criminal charges. It is advisable to only grow buds for your own consumption and to not sell weed or seeds to others. The law is not that flexible at this point. Now if you are planning to import some cannabis seeds, where do you buy them and which should you choose?
If you are caught possessing under 50 grams of marijuana in this state, you can be offered a diversion and will escape criminal charges. Keep in mind though, that this only applies to the first time you are caught.
In South Australia, you will get a fine of $50 to $150 for carrying under 100 grams of marijuana or 20 grams of hush.
Weed is the most frequently used illegal drug in Australia. Considering marijuana is so popular, many Australian cannabis lovers will be happy to hear that the law surrounding using and growing weed seems to be becoming more flexible. Using medical marijuana became legal in 2016, and it is only a matter of time before recreational use will follow suit.
Possessing up to 50 grams of marijuana or (naturally) growing up to 2 plants is worth the risk in this state – if you are willing to pay a $200 fine when caught.