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Is it illegal to have marijuana seeds in new york

New York’s new cannabis laws look a lot like Colorado’s

New York State Senators Pete Harckham, left, and Liz Krueger, right, hold a press conference on marijuana legislation on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, to at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. Sen. Harckham, who opposed legalization last year, announced support for Krueger’s cannabis bill. (Will Waldron/Times Union)

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New York State Senators Pete Harckham, left, and Liz Krueger, right, hold a press conference on marijuana legislation on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, to at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. Sen. Harckham, who opposed legalization last year, announced support for Krueger’s cannabis bill. (Will Waldron/Times Union)

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4 of 6 Marijuana plants are pictured at the Baker’s marijuana nursery at Baker Medical Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Oklahoma City. When voters in conservative Oklahoma approved medical marijuana in 2018, many thought the rollout would be ploddingly slow and burdened with bureaucracy. Instead, business is booming so much cannabis industry workers and entrepreneurs are moving to Oklahoma from states with more well-established pot cultures, like California, Colorado and Oregon. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki Show More Show Less

5 of 6 Cannabis nearing harvest is grown inside the Vireo Health medical marijuana production facility on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, in Fulton County, N.Y. (Will Waldron/Times Union) Will Waldron/Times Union Show More Show Less

ALBANY — The marijuana industry in New York will be similar to Colorado’s, where nine years after it was legalized there are nearly 1,000 retail stores and small medical marijuana dispensaries spread across that state.

For many people who suffer from conditions such as insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain, the legislation will also pave the way for easier access — and lower prices — to marijuana therapies that may help them treat their symptoms and avoid the need for synthetic drugs that often come with debilitating side effects or potentially dangerous interactions with other substances.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act passed by the Legislature — and signed into law last week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — is largely mirrored after Colorado’s system that has enabled small business owners to establish a network of boutique shops and dispensaries that sell everything from small amounts of cannabis to pain creams and edibles.

Unlike some states where a few large dispensaries are spread out geographically and customers drive sometimes long distances to make purchases, New York’s plan is a statewide framework of relatively small retail shops with a focus on awarding licenses in many of the communities where convictions for marijuana-related offenses have been the highest.

Tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical companies for years had dispatched lobbyists to ply the Capitol corridors in Albany trying to influence the framing of the legislation, but lawmakers said they beat back that effort and their attempts to seize control of the industry here.

“We modeled it originally on the SLA (state Liquor Authority) and how we do operate liquor stores and bars, and then we kept taking a look at Colorado and go ‘OK,’ we see where they’re making the mistakes and they’re fixing it,” said state Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat who championed the legislation with Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, a Buffal0 Democrat.

The legislation signed by the governor immediately decriminalized the possession of less than three ounces of marijuana — or less than 24 grams of concentrated cannabis — for anyone 21 and older. Possession of amounts higher than that remains a violation and escalates to a felony charge when someone possesses more than 10 pounds of marijuana, or more than four pounds of concentrated cannabis.

The rollout of the regulatory platform, including an Office of Cannabis Management that will award licenses for growing, distributing, processing and selling, is expected to take at least a year to set up. The illegal sale of marijuana will remain a crime, escalating from a violation for selling small amounts to a mid-level felony for selling more than 100 pounds.

Although stigmas remain, the marijuana industry has evolved significantly in the past half-century, and become much more than a vehicle for someone to get “stoned.”

There is a science and expertise in developing the genetics and different strains from around the globe, with advanced cross-breeding techniques that have been used to grow plants that have particular attributes for treating pain, reducing anxiety and medicating those afflicted with diseases ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s Disease .Some strains will relieve anxiety, for instance, but not leave the person feeling “high” or lethargic from the use.

In Israel, Krueger said, where medical research on medical marijuana is allowed, scientists have had breakthroughs using marijuana extracts to treat children with severe autism.

“There’s a bunch of problems with medical. We’re not allowed to do research in this country, unlike the drug companies,” she said. “It’s hard to come up with a new product, research and market it. It’s more word of mouth … in which case people will say, ‘I’ll just go get marijuana.'”

To encourage the medical industry to continue to flourish — insurance companies won’t pay for it and prices for patients are extremely prohibitive — the new law increases the types of illnesses for which doctors can prescribe marijuana treatment. The additional conditions eligible for marijuana prescriptions include Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, dystonia, rheumatoid arthritis, autism and “any other condition certified by the certifying health care practitioner.”

The law also doubles the number of medical marijuana licenses available and allows those companies to have up to eight dispensaries — up from four — with two of those being retail outlets.

“They also be allowed two of the first few years to sell marijuana (non-medical) to companies with recreational licenses,” Krueger said. “They’re the only ones in the state of New York who are already growing legal product. . It takes a while to get everybody started up. So we don’t’ want a program that starts up with no supply of marijuana (and) it will increase their ability to make money because they had complained we had set up a system for them that left them barely hanging on.”

Dr. Mark Oldendorf, who runs a general practice in Albany and has studied the marijuana industry and its medical applications for years, said the provision enabling New York practitioners to certify medical marijuana use for patients for any condition is a big step.

“I think that’s terrific because that will really, really be a shot in the arm to the medical marijuana industry here in New York state, because now doctors can say you can have medical marijuana for whatever — for insomnia, for depression, for whatever they feel it’s appropriate for,” he said. “That is key because I found a tremendous benefit for insomnia for a lot of people. And that’s a big market. I think that’s an underlying theme in a lot of these preparations, especially for underlying pain, PTSD; it works well for them and it also gets them a night’s sleep, whether it works for the pain or not.”

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Oldendorf said he is studying the potential of establishing a retail outlet that would benefit an inner-city community but also be used to fund research. Because marijuana remains a prohibited substance under federal laws there have been relatively no control studies on its use and effectiveness in treating medical conditions.

“You look at the list of side effects of the drugs that I give out; they’re all synthetics made in the laboratory that God probably never, ever meant to put in our body,” Oldendorf said. “I think that probably this is going to maybe mark the beginning of some formal, randomized control trials and for people to invest in research and use some of the money from retail sale to invest in research – that’s what I would do.”

In Colorado, where many dispensary owners obtained their first seeds from overseas, the retail shop owners are also allowed to grow and manufacture their own products.

New York’s law also allows “nursery licenses” that will allow someone to grow immature plants and sell them to other cannabis licensees, and “delivery licenses” that allow a business to make home deliveries from retail locations.

In addition, there will be “microbusiness licenses” that allow the holder to cultivate, produce and retail their own cannabis products but with significant size limitations. There will also be “on-site consumption licenses” for retail locations that will allow people to use cannabis products at the location.

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As in Colorado, regulation will be extremely tight.

A man who owns a small dispensary in southeastern Colorado, not from from the Kansas border, said experienced growers there often find a plant that becomes one of their top sellers — the right levels of THC ((tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) — and will keep that plant in a vegetative state using artificial lights. That vegetative state — which is about 18 hours under light and six hours in darkness — mirrors conditions early in a grow season when the plants grow but do not flower.

Instead, the growers take clippings from those plants and create new plants that yield the “buds” that are smoked or used to make concentrates, edibles and creams. Once a plant is 8-inches tall, it receives a tag that allows the state of Colorado to track that plant throughout its life, including documenting how much product it yields, the level of THC and the weight of any waste product left over.

The law in Colorado allows someone to buy up to one ounce per day. But shop owners can do little to stop “loopers,” the show owner said, who are often coming across state lines and will move through various shops in a town and buy multiple ounces of marijuana from different shops on the same day. They often take it back and sell it illegally in their home state.

The prices fluctuate in Colorado and are driven by factors that include availability as well as the strength of the strain. Marijuana with a very high level of THC, often sells for the highest prices.

In Colorado, the shop owner said, CBD products that do not contain THC — much like what has been available legally in New York — are viewed skeptically as “snake oil” and many industry experts believe those products are not effective without some level of interactive THC.

“You need the THC to react with the CBD and then it becomes effective . effective for helping people with pain,” he said. “Creams, topical creams, transdermal patches, suppositories for people with colorectal cancer. There is a long road ahead of us. … It’s natural. People like that. It does give relief.
What we sell is happiness and relief. That’s what people are coming in the door looking for.”

The level of THC will also be a factor in how much tax is paid in New York, with a distributor paying tax based on the per-milligram of THC in a product as determined by a lab analysis. That level will be labeled on the product. The legislation set tax rates of 0.5 cents per milligram for cannabis flower, 0.8 cents for concentrate and 3 cents for edibles. There is also a 9 percent tax for retail sale, which goes to the state, and additional 4 percent tax that will be distributed in the localities where the retailer is located.

“The price does fluctuate, especially seasonally, because of so many outdoor grows,” the Colorado shop owner said. “We have our winter here, like there, and these plants cannot survive a frost. There is one growing season and everyone harvests at same time and then it comes to market.”

But it also requires a great deal of effort to grow the marijuana under the regulations set by many states. The plant products are tested for yeast levels, microbials, pesticides, heavy metals and other pollutants that must remain belows levels — measured in parts per million — in order to sell the product to the public.

A provision similar to Colorado’s that allows homeowners to grow up to six plants per adult — a concession that Cuomo had initially opposed — is not expected to be legalized until at least early 2023 — 18 months after retail shops have opened.

But an exception was made in the law for medical marijuana cardholders, who can begin growing their own plants six months after the effective date of the bill.

The law allows cities, towns, and villages to “opt-out” from having adult-use dispensaries or on-site “social consumption sites” located in their communities. But that decision would be subject to a permissive referendum that would allow those who oppose the governing body’s vote to gather enough signatures to force a vote on the issue. The “opt-out” vote must be passed by Dec. 31, and cannot include other aspects of the industry such as grow or distribution facilities — only retail.

The issue of marijuana seeds remains a largely unregulated aspect of the industry. There are seed companies in the U.S. and also in Europe and other overseas locations that provide mail-order service to New York. Although the federal government considers marijuana seeds contraband, enforcement is rare. New York’s new marijuana law does not address the issue of seeds.

“We sell them here. It’s not a huge business. We also have clones for sale,” the Colorado shop owner said. “How do you start something that’s not legal? . How do you get a plant without a seed (and) where do you get the seed from? It’s that funny gray area. We kind of just bluffed our way through it. … Our seeds came from Amsterdam (Netherlands).”

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Weed seeds may be legal to ship across the US, DEA says

Cannabis commercial and home growers alike may be able to get their seeds from all over the country now, and not have to worry about breaking federal law. Before, because of federal illegality, cannabis seeds have been restricted to the state in which they were produced, so a strain bred and grown in one state, legally, could not go beyond that state’s boundaries.

A recent legal clarification by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could mean that the seeds of cannabis strains popular in one part of the country could legally be shipped to another part of the country, because the DEA considers all forms of cannabis seeds to be federally legal hemp.

That means strains popular in mature markets like Washington, Oregon, and California could make their way to legal markets on the East Coast in Massachusetts and Maine, and soon-to-open markets like New Jersey and New York.

Marijuana Moment reporter Kyle Jaeger recently unearthed a letter from DEA officials that clarifies the definition of cannabis seeds, clones, and tissue cultures, which could open up a whole range of possibilities for cannabis growers, and could spread a diversity of strains across legal markets all over the country, opening up the gene pool and leading to new trends and tastes in weed.

Are weed seeds illegal?

Right now, cannabis strains are somewhat isolated in the regions they are bred and created, as they can’t be transported beyond state lines. For example, even though recreational weed is legal at the state level in both California and Oregon, moving a plant from one of those states to the other is illegal at the federal level. This forces cannabis growers and breeders to operate within the confines of a specific state.

That’s not to say that a strain bred in California won’t end up in Oregon—it happens all the time, but it is technically illegal, according to federal law.

Many cannabis breeders and seed banks sell seeds throughout the US, but they operate in a legal gray area. Typically, seed producers say their seeds are sold for “novelty” or “souvenir” purposes, giving them a loophole to skirt the law.

If cannabis seeds are found in the mail, they could be seized and the sender or receiver arrested, however, the fact of the matter is that seeds are very difficult to detect. Cannabis seeds are usually less than a ¼” in diameter and don’t smell like weed. A packet of 10 seeds is about the size of four quarters stacked.

But all that might have changed in 2018 without anyone knowing.

Defining ‘source’ vs. ‘material’

In 2018, Congress passed a farm bill that legalized hemp in the US. It defined “hemp” as any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. This allows hemp to be grown and used for industrial purposes—for creating textiles and materials. The 2018 bill also opened up hemp production for the creation of cannabinoids other than delta-9 THC, such as CBD, delta-8, and others.

Because CBD and delta-8 products are usually extracted from hemp plants, that is, cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% THC, they can be found in states that don’t have legal, recreational cannabis.

In November, Shane Pennington, counsel at Vicente Sederberg LLP in New York, wrote to DEA officials asking for clarification of the definition of a cannabis seed, clone, and tissue culture.

Cannabis seeds have always been deemed illegal because they come from plants that are high in THC. The source of the seeds is above 0.3% THC, and therefore anything that comes from those plants, such as seeds, has also been considered illegal cannabis.

Pennington argued that the source of the material doesn’t determine legality, but the material itself—meaning that because a cannabis seed itself contains less than 0.3% THC, it should be classified as hemp. If seeds are hemp, they are not a controlled substance—and are therefore federally legal.

“When it comes to determining whether a particular cannabis-related substance is federally legal ‘hemp’ or schedule I “marihuana,” it is the substance itself that matters—not its source,” Pennington wrote in a blog post.

Exotic Genetix Mike, founder of cannabis producer Exotic Genetix, said the DEA’s ruling “Is what we’ve always kind of practiced. [Seeds contain] less than 0.3% THC—they’re not a controlled substance.”

Mike welcomed the news: “It’s been clarified. Not just what we do is legal, but the money we make for doing it is also legal and not an illegal enterprise.”

What implications does this have for the weed industry?

If the DEA and federal government allow seeds to cross state lines, adults could grow and consume seeds and strains from all over the country in their own state. Certain strains would no longer be confined to a specific region, but could be enjoyed all across the nation.

“It’ll spark innovation, if people can bring it above ground, it can be regulated,” said Pennington in an interview with Leafly.

Regulation can bring more investment, a bigger industry, and more acceptance of the plant.

Breaking down transportation barriers across states would also open up the cannabis gene pool, giving breeders a bigger diversity of strains to work with. The number and diversity of new strains would likely increase, tapping into new consumer trends and flavors.

More strains also means that certain strains could be pinpointed and bred specifically for certain effects, whether for medical or recreational purposes.

But according to Pennington, perhaps the biggest implication is that “This sends a signal, clearly, to state legislators, state regulators, and to groups that lobby those folks… the federal law is more flexible than you assumed.”

States take their cue from the DEA when creating their own drug laws, so seeing the agency relax its stance on shipping cannabis genetics could cause states to follow suit, breaking down protectionist state laws.

This could also open up more accurate research on the plant, according to Pennington. For decades, cannabis research was limited to The University of Mississippi, which grew weed with a low potency, around 8% THC. However, most dispensaries sell cannabis with a THC percentage around 20%. Being able to ship genetics across the country would allow for more robust research into the plant, using strains that mirror what adults are actually buying in stores and consuming.

How binding is the DEA letter?

The DEA calls the letter an “official determination,” but whether or not they are legally bound to this position is a bit hazy.

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“That to me sure seems like something the agency would either be bound to going forward or at least be very hesitant to deviate from in any kind of enforcement context,” said Pennington.

For now, the DEA’s acknowledgment that cannabis seeds, clones, and tissue cultures are not controlled substances isn’t law, but it is a big step forward in relaxing restrictions on cannabis.

Cannabis Seeds in New York

Can you buy marijuana seeds in New York? New York state legalized medical marijuana in 2014, creating the pathway for less strict rules.

In 2019, it then decriminalized weed for recreational use, another massive step to legalization.

Finally, New Yorkers can celebrate because, as of March 2021, recreational weed is legal within the borders.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into a law, which immediately made marijuana permitted to possess under some conditions.

That being said, you can’t go out to buy or sell just yet. The state needs time to set up dispensaries that are governed and licensed.

Want to know more about the new rules and regulations for legal cannabis in New York? Continue reading this article for everything you need to know.

Is it legal to buy and grow marijuana seeds in New York?

Is weed legal in New York ? Yes. As of March 2021, buying and growing cannabis seeds in New York is legal throughout the state.

You must be 21 years or older to use cannabis products without a fine legally. New Yorkers can now have up to 3 ounces of marijuana or 24 grams of the concentrated substance. You can possess up to 5 pounds of pot at home, but you must store it in a locked or secure area.

The law permits you to smoke anywhere you can smoke tobacco. It’s illegal to consume marijuana in schools, at work, or inside a car.

Those in New York will be able to buy legal marijuana at dispensaries once they’re up and running. This will take some time because officials need to make rules on things like licensing, regulating, taxing, and delivery services.

You can expect by the end of this year or early 2022, the first New York dispensaries will open. It could take longer, but officials are aiming to get it done as soon as possible.

It will be legal to grow marijuana seeds in New York at home 18 months after the first dispensary opens. You’ll be allowed six plants per adult, with a maximum of 12 plants per household. Indoor and outdoor growing will be legal, but you’ll have to wait before planting any marijuana seeds in New York.

Should you grow weed indoors or outdoors in New York?

Once recreational home growing is legal, New Yorkers will have their crops on private property. There’ve only been a few rules stated at this time, but it’s likely in the future, they’ll be more straightforward and more specific outlines.

New York is located in the northeast part of the United States. It’s much bigger than just the Big Apple, and the climate can be different depending on where you live in the state. We’re going to take a closer look at the environment for growing marijuana seeds in New York .

Climate conditions

New York has four distinct seasons with below-freezing winters and hot, humid summers. The spring and fall are very inconsistent. When you move further north, the temperatures are even colder.

If you’re in the southern part of New York, you can grow outdoors or indoors. By late May, the climate is warm, rarely going below freezing. There’s a good humidity level throughout the summer, which is what marijuana plants like.

You should continuously be checking your harvest to look for diseases, still water, or mold from humidity. If you’re by the ocean, the coastal breeze will help with ventilation, but it might be a problem in the city.

It’s best to grow weed inside when it becomes legal if you’re in upstate New York because marijuana plants can’t develop well in the cold. You’ll be able to regulate the climate better indoors with a heating system and humidifier.

If the temperature drops suddenly outside, your cannabis crops will stay safe and continue improving without harm.

Best strains to grow in New York

Parts of the Incredible Hulk occur in New York City, making the Auto Bruce Banner Fem seeds perfect for you to grow. The autoflower seeds don’t need constant light to produce, making them excellent for outdoor or indoor growing where the weather is inconsistent.

New York is known for its delicious bagels, and what’s the best topping to a fresh one? The Auto Critical x Cream Cheese Fem seeds will go great with your breakfast.

This strain is also autoflowering, and you can harvest it all year round. It’s great for indoor growing and is suitable for first-time marijuana growers.

Many get rich on Wall Street and other parts of New York, and you can feel that luxury with the 24K Gold Fem seeds .

It’s one of the best and sought-after strains out there. There’s a high THC seed level, and it is mostly Indica. This strain is mold resistant, so in humid August, you don’t have to worry about the health of your marijuana plant.

Where to buy cannabis seeds in New York

When dispensaries open, you’ll be allowed to purchase cannabis seed there legally. You’ll be able to buy marijuana seeds online in New York at regulated sites like I49 Genetics .

Remember, although recreational weed is now legal, to grow right now is still limited. You have to wait until 18 months after the first dispensary opens. You can buy weed seeds in New York and have them in your possession but can’t harvest them until a later date.

Cannabis in New York in the future

We’re going to see a lot of changes in the Empire state in 2021 with New York cannabis seeds and products . It became legal, and now people are working on getting dispensaries started. Once this begins, smoking lounges, public outings, growing clubs, and more will hopefully emerge.

You can feel confident about smoking marijuana without having legal troubles. While growing weed is still not allowed, it will be soon.

For now, do your research and look into what marijuana seeds in New York to buy, other equipment, methods, and techniques, so when you can start planting, you’ll be prepared. Until then, enjoy consuming legally and watch for a dispensary or online store to open up.