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DEA Confirms Marijuana Seeds Are Federally Legal in the US

02 May 2022
A recent review by the federal drug agency has cleared the controversial issue: cannabis seeds are no longer controlled.
02 May 2022
2 min read
DEA Confirms Marijuana Seeds Are Federally Legal in the US

If you’re one of those growers in the United States who worry that by getting marijuana seeds in your mail you break some federal law, you can relax now, and the good news comes from unlikely quarters – the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Recently, the DEA had to reply to an inquiry from attorney Shane Pennington regarding the legality of cannabis seeds at the federal level. The agency admitted that before 2018, buying, selling, or possessing weed seeds would get you in trouble if you were caught. However, the 2018 Farm Bill made a distinction between marijuana and its non-psychoactive counterpart, hemp, and legalized the latter. And since there’s no clear-cut difference between seeds of either variety, all are legal now.

The Source No Longer Matters

Hemp is defined as a cannabis plant whose various parts contain no more than 0.3% THC. Obviously, the highest concentration of THC within cannabis is in flowers while seeds may contain only trace amounts and probably only on the hulls that were not washed properly. The embryos inside the hulls don’t need THC for any vital processes, so they don’t contain it. And this is true regardless of whether a seed came from a hemp flower or a high-potency marijuana bud.

Before, there was a lot of legal confusion around the argument of the ‘source’ of seeds. For those who still wanted to treat marijuana seeds as contraband, them being a high-THC variety (as stated on the pack, for example) was grounds for confiscation. But according to the DEA, it’s not.

DEA Confirms Marijuana Seeds Are Federally Legal in the US: Several cannabis seeds spilled out from a small glass vial on the surface of coco medium

What you see on the pic is no longer illegal in the US.

Federal Law Still Hard Not to Break

If buying and possessing seeds of THC-rich marijuana strains is technically legal, it is only to collect them or give them to someone as a present, etc. Germinating these seeds is still illegal under federal law. Also, the feds make no distinction between those who live in a state where personal cultivation of cannabis is allowed or where it’s still prohibited.

However, the same is also true of possession and use. Even if state-wide legislation allows it, if you’re a cannabis smoker, you’re still breaking the federal law every day of your life. The good news is that going after ‘potheads’ in legal states is the lowest priority for the feds, and for cannabis seeds, as it turns out, the priority is non-existent.