More States Legalizing Cannabis Leads to Higher Demand for Seeds

Just over ten years ago recreational marijuana was completely illegal in the United States and only permitted for medical purposes in certain regions. However, 2012 marked a turning point for cannabis enthusiasts as it became legally permissible for use in Colorado and Washington. Since then 23 states, three U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia have all given the green light to marijuana. Today, approximately half of all U.S. Citizens can legally partake in cannabis without requiring any justification.

In many areas, the demand for growing equipment and high quality cannabis seeds like Gorilla Glue seeds have surged dramatically. Many consumers want to grow their own plants to harvest the buds, since this can actually be easier than finding local vendors. Some of them simply want to start out with the basics, so they can learn the process before fine-tuning it. Others already have some experience in cultivating marijuana at home, and they may even know which strains are their favorites. 

The problem is that there are still some gray areas regarding what is and isn’t allowed. Plus, sometimes there aren’t even gray areas – just a lot of regulations that don’t really make sense. For example, some state law permits selling, buying, or possession of cannabis seeds, since their low THC content legally classifies them as hemp. However, the same states may ban residents from growing or consuming the products of those seeds. Laws like these benefit the vendors of cannabis seeds, but don’t do much good for regular people who are interested in having their own small marijuana harvest each year.

Confusing laws or not, there’s no doubt that the cannabis seed market is doing well. Last year, this market was worth $567 million; in the next seven years, it’s expected to be worth more than $2 billion. Given that both public opinion and legislation are becoming more favorable towards cannabis use, it should come as no surprise that this market is seeing such strong growth.

With marijuana being legalized for recreational use in almost two dozen states, why are so many people interested in growing their own rather than simply buying it? Well, just because recreational marijuana usage is legal doesn’t mean that businesses have carte blanche to manufacture and sell cannabis products. In fact, some pro-cannabis state laws are almost more confusing than when the substance was banned altogether. 

The general trend is moving in the right direction for marijuana enthusiasts, but there’s still a long road ahead before the average person can walk into a cannabis shop and pick up a few grams of their favorite ganja. In some areas, growing your own cannabis plants is the only way to legally get your hands on high-THC buds for recreational use. There are limits on how many plants one person can grow at a time, but this is still a big change compared to just over a decade ago.

However, establishments that sell seeds and growing equipment are mostly holding off on selling actual weed until they have more legislative clarity. The retail cannabis market simply needs more legal oversight, as new regulations represent potential risk for these establishments. An enterprising marijuana seller could find a legal gray area to inhabit for a couple of years, only to find that changing legislation puts them in direct violation of the new laws. For many, the risk isn’t worth reward, and they prefer to wait a few more years until they know what they’re dealing with.

The story is slightly different for online cannabis sellers, who don’t necessarily have to abide by state laws. Since the mere fact that they operate online puts them in a legal gray area, they generally have a bit more flexibility when it comes to selling their products. This isn’t to say that they sell marijuana buds to anyone and everyone; however, many of them have been selling marijuana seeds since well before this was technically legal. Even for customers living in states where cannabis was completely banned, these vendors could still sell the seeds as “souvenirs” and get away with it.

In more recent years, there’s been some much-needed clarification on the legal status of cannabis seeds, as opposed to the plants or buds. This all revolves around their levels of THC, which is the substance responsible for the “high” that weed is known for. Cannabis seeds are extremely low in THC, so much so that nobody could use them recreationally. According to lawyer Shane Pennington, this meant that they should have the same classification as hemp (a low-THC relative of cannabis). In fact, Pennington wrote a letter to the DEA in 2022, pointing this out – and the DEA actually agreed with him.

Before the response from the DEA, cannabis seeds occupied a very hazy legislative gray area; now, there’s actually a legal precedent for considering them to be hemp, which can be legally grown and harvested at the commercial level. 

This was great news for businesses that sold marijuana seeds, since it confirmed that they weren’t likely to land in legal hot water. However, just like with previous leaps forward, this didn’t mean that there weren’t still complex laws to navigate. For example, the fact still remains that cannabis is a controlled substance according to federal law. While most online cannabis seed shipments make their way into the hands of customers, some of them are seized and destroyed by the U.S. Postal Service; that’s just a risk that seed sellers have to take. While some buyers know that they could buy the seeds legally, and probably get away with cultivating a few illegal plants, they simply aren’t willing to take the chance.

Whether you’re talking about buyers or sellers, many have a “wait and see” attitude – there’s just too much uncertainty due to conflicting or unclear legislation. That being said, the last several years have given cannabis advocates a lot to celebrate, and the same will probably be true in the following years as well.

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