If you live in the USA, you are at the mercy of your own state’s specific legislation. Technically speaking, cannabis seeds are prohibited under federal law in every state. What complicates matters is that several states have now authorised marijuana for recreational use as well as medicinal use. If you do live in a state with legalized weed, rules surrounding the purchasing of seeds vary. As always, check the technicalities at a local level.
Germany presents a complicated stance on cannabis seeds. Seeds do not fall under the German Narcotics Act, which therefore makes them legal to buy. However, Germany has prohibited the sale of cannabis seeds countrywide, being the only European nation to have done so.
France is unique in that cannabis, along with any other drug, may not be presented in a favourable light. No other European country has this type of legislation, and let us hope it stays that way. Surprisingly, cannabis seeds are legal as long as they are not used for growing. Consumption of weed, buying, or selling are also illegal and carry prison sentences and fines. If you live in France, you will have to order cannabis seeds from another European country.
Considered by many to be the motherland of cannabis in Europe, it’s no surprise that cannabis seeds and CBD are legal to purchase. However, what may come as a surprise is that cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands. It is merely allowed under a “tolerance policy”. Growing cannabis is also a criminal act, although law enforcement tolerates a small number of plants grown for personal use.
Taking a similar approach to the UK, Spain has a slightly more lenient stance regarding cannabis and its seeds. It is legal to buy and sell cannabis seeds as long as it is for personal use in private areas. As such, it’s possible to germinate cannabis seeds for personal use without falling foul of the law, unless it can be proved that you intend to traffic.
Cannabis seeds are rich in proteins and amino acids, making them a great healthy snack. They are also commonly used in fishing bait, additives, luxury bird food, or as souvenirs or collector’s items.
The act of buying, selling, or trading cannabis seeds is legal in the UK, whether you are receiving them domestically or from other European countries. The biggest legal issue surrounds the germination of cannabis seeds. This is illegal, and anyone found doing so will be subject to prosecution. It is important that the seeds are purchased from reputable vendors and that no discussion is had about germination. This could be construed as buying “with intent”, which would make the activity illegal.
To make matters even more confusing, in 1962, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs formed the framework for legislation worldwide. 180 member states signed the international treaty, which deems cannabis an illegal substance. Cannabis seeds, however, are not. In seed form, they do not possess any narcotic components. International law does take precedence over national law, meaning cannabis seeds are technically legal in all of the member states.
If the legal landscape of cannabis wasn’t confusing enough, cannabis seeds operate in a separate space. Generally considered legal, it’s often the act of germination that attracts the attention of law enforcement. We break down major European countries and their stance on cannabis seed legality.
The world differs widely regarding cannabis legalization. However, the sale of cannabis seeds is largely legal through a series of loopholes.
South Africa has a strange policy when it comes to cannabis seeds. In South Africa the purchase and sale of cannabis seeds is prohibited, but you may have cannabis seeds in your possession. Many customers therefore purchase their seeds online.
To us it’s unknown whether cannabis seeds in Mexico are legal or illegal.
However, this doesn’t stop most US citizens from buying cannabis seeds overseas. Especially as the quality of seeds in Europe is considered better, there is more choice and no known consequences of buying cannabis seeds overseas.
Conclusion: technically cannabis seeds are legal in all of these 180 member countries. In theory, it’s perfectly legal to buy cannabis seeds as long as they are not germinated and the public prosecutor can’t prove that you intend to grow cannabis. Many countries therefore don’t see cannabis seeds as illegal but also not as legal. The seed itself is often allowed, but the germination of the seed isn’t always. A lot of ambiguity.
The bad news is, there are only a few legal selling points and the choice is very limited. Many Canadian growers therefore buy their seeds from seed banks outside Canada.
If you live in the UK and are planning to buy marijuana seeds, we have some good news! In the United Kingdom it’s 100% legal to buy and sell cannabis seeds. Besides, the law doesn’t provide any restrictions on where to buy your seeds. You can therefore buy your seeds (online) in the United Kingdom or from an international source. However, keep in mind that the germination of cannabis seeds is still illegal in the UK.
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.
In Europe it’s legal to buy and sell small quantities of cannabis seeds (online). However, selling seeds in bulk to individuals isn’t allowed. Especially because selling bulk is considered an encouragement for large-scale breeding. At the same time it remains unclear where the line is drawn between small and large scale quantities. Many seed banks therefore sell seeds in small quantities.
Spain is a decentralized country with autonomous regions that can define their own regulations. Nevertheless, the policy of the provinces on cannabis seeds is almost the same everywhere: buying and selling cannabis seeds in Spain is permitted for private use. It’s therefore not strictly illegal to own and grow a few cannabis seeds in Spain unless it can be proven that you are planning to trade in weed.
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