Legalities of buying cannabis seeds and growing marijuana in Canada

Published Jan 25, 2019 05:03 p.m. ET

 Since the ringing in of Canada’s Cannabis Act on October 17, 2018, many Canadians have found themselves wondering what is and what isn’t covered within the Act. Most do now know that the Cannabis Act decriminalized the possession of up to 30 grams in public, and 150 grams in a home of dried herb, the growing of up to four personal plants, and the recreational use of cannabis, but seldom speak or hear of the legalities surrounding cannabis seeds themselves.

Are marijuana seeds legal in Canada?

The answer to the question “are weed seeds legal in Canada?” is yes, and no. While there are currently no laws regarding personal possession of marijuana seeds, the only people legal to sell them are the ones who are licensed to do so. Unfortunately, there are currently no licensed vendors of seeds in Canada, which now has many wondering, how can I grow my own weed in Canada if it isn’t legal to access the seeds? Fortunately, there are some caveats and loopholes that some companies, schools, and organizations are using to begin growing weed as legally as possible.

Loopholes

For Personal Growers - The most popular marketing strategy of many popular vendors like Native Seed Co. who is one of the cheapest sellers of cannabis seeds on the market who are technically legally selling cannabis seeds. Their products are listed as collectible and novelty items. Native Seed Co. and other companies like it must claim that there is no encouragement to do more than collect the seeds to view them and that there is no intention of their seeds ever being germinated and grown.

Large Grow Operations - Large grow operations which are trying to get established in the legal marijuana market are granted an exception to function within a legal grey area. Licensed producers of marijuana can access these grey market seeds for just long enough to get going. They are all expected to have the ability to create their own seeds for future products and can redesign and manipulate whatever strains they select as they wish, but access to grey market seeds is for a limited time only.

Colleges, Universities, and The Medical Community- Many have heard that McGill University Montreal is now offering a program including a diploma in the art of growing cannabis. Several colleges including McGill University have been granted special permissions to access grey market seeds for a restricted period of time which is essentially until they can pull off one successful yield creating their own newly legal seeds in the process. Doctors and scientists that have applied for exceptions based on experimentation and research are also offered this free pass into the illegal market of cannabis seeds.

Can I grow my own weed in Canada?

While the laws still have not quite caught up with the times, most police have agreed that they have no intention of coming down on those who purchase illegal seeds to grow marijuana. Growing in most regions across Canada is legal for up to four plants per household, so it doesn’t make much sense to waste money and resources on those who are obtaining their seeds via other means. At least for now. That may change as dispensaries, and the government begin to advertise their own legal seeds for sale. In the meantime, you should be less worried about buying seeds than you are about the number of plants you have actively growing in your home or on your property. There are currently no laws in place to allow an officer to investigate or fine an individual for possessing or using seeds that may have come from a questionable source.

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