Marijuana seeds are a gold mine of genetic information that bring new, exciting, rare marijuana strains into your grow room. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in a state where marijuana seeds can be legally sold, you’re likely getting marijuana seeds from seed banks, sometimes known as seed re-sellers.
Most marijuana seeds banks are located outside the United States. In the years I’ve been buying from seed banks, I’ve only had one shipment seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. I got a scary letter from U.S. Customs. It was a mostly-generic form letter, but contained an original section with specifics, saying they’d seized “contraband materials that appear to be marihuana seeds” sent to my address.
The letter included statute citations of federal marijuana law, including the hefty fines and long federal prison terms for people who import marijuana, which includes marijuana seeds.
As soon as I received the fed’s letter, I implemented my “worst-case scenario” strategy. What’s the worst legal risk that could be coming at me right now? U.S. Customs could have notified local police that marijuana seeds had come into the country, destined for my post office box.
Local police would then procure my home address and identity. They’d do surveillance of my electricity consumption and use other methods, hoping to justify a search warrant. It would be obvious to any police officer or search warrant judge that someone buying marijuana seeds probably grows marijuana. I stopped growing for three months after I got that unwelcome letter.
Fortunately, the other 23 marijuana seeds orders I’ve placed made it to me, although several orders arrived 6-12 weeks after I paid for them.
Marijuana Seeds That Aren’t The Strains You Expected
Too many cannabis seeds companies sell seeds that don’t grow out to be the marijuana strains the grower expects based on advertising data about the strains. This isn’t always the fault of the marijuana seeds seller. Sometimes it’s the fault of the marijuana seeds breeder. The main reason I recommend only a handful of marijuana seed breeders and marijuana seed sellers is the majority of marijuana seeds businesses are making or selling inferior seeds.
Why does the marijuana seeds industry have quality control and business ethics problems? It’s a completely unregulated industry with absolutely no oversight rules, judicial remedies, or government agencies to protect consumer rights.
Let’s face it…anybody can procure or breed cannabis seeds, give them any strain name they want to give, and start selling them. The unethical seed sellers know you can’t fight them like you’d handle it if you were ripped off in a normal business transaction.
You’re unwise to take a ripoff marijuana seed seller to small claims court, file a lawsuit, or go to your state attorney general and file a consumer protection complaint.
If you paid by credit card, you can’t use the credit card “disputed charges” service you’d normally use when a merchant treats you badly, because your credit card bank will require details of the dispute, and the details are that you bought marijuana seeds—something you definitely don’t want your bank to know.
And if you paid by cash, check or money order, that money is gone forever. Kiss it goodbye.
Be aware that cannabis growers experience cost, worry, failed grow ops and heartbreak from the following common cannabis seeds problems:
- Low germination rates.
- Seeds that produce marijuana plants that aren’t similar to what the strains were supposed to be.
- Feminized seeds that grow out to be males or hermaphrodites (twin-sex).
- Seed orders mishandled, so growers receive the wrong strains, fewer seeds than they paid for, or no seeds at all.
- Seed breeders who don’t create stable seeds that consistently grow out to be true to the strain description.
- Seed sellers who refuse to provide refunds or replacements.
- Knockoff seed breeders and sellers who sell junk seeds and then go out of business, change names, or otherwise disappear.
Trustworthy Marijuana Seeds Sellers
I’d make enemies if I listed by name all the seed breeders and sellers who rip people off., but I will say this, more than 50% of the seed breeders and sellers in our industry are ripoffs, and that includes some of the most famous ones.
Thank the cannabis gods for the few excellent, ethical marijuana seed breeders and marijuana seed sellers out of the hundreds who advertise online and elsewhere, and you can count on them. Here’s my list of premium, reliable seed sellers:
How to Get the Best Marijuana Seeds
Don’t be discouraged—you can get amazing cannabis seeds by using the following precautions:
- On the first order from a seed seller and/or from a new seed breeder, order the smallest number of seeds possible to test the seller’s delivery and level of customer service. This is also a good way to test the quality of marijuana strains.
- Insist on seeds being sent in original breeder packs.
- Contact breeders and sellers before ordering to ask questions about strains, warranties, refunds, stealth shipping, and other relevant topics. Always be sure to first ask if they ship to the country you live in.
- Look at reviews of strains and seed sellers online, but be aware that reviews on so-called “seed bank review” websites are often faked. A more trustworthy place to find reviews of marijuana seeds and seed sellers are on online cultivation forums.
- Talk to the smartest growers you know, and ask where they get their seeds from.
- Order seeds using cybersecurity stealth. For example, don’t order seeds to be mailed or otherwise delivered to a place where cannabis is being grown. Use anonymous credit cards, cryptocurrency and other protection techniques.
- Photographically document seed failures such as poor germination percentages, hermaphroditic plants, plants that are supposed to be Sativa but turn out to be Indica, and other problems. Send that documentation to the seed seller and the seed breeder and ask for refunds or quality replacements.
- If you get ripped off, tell other growers about it on online cultivation forums.
- Reward ethical seed sellers and seed breeders by ordering more from them, and by telling other growers about them.
I’ll be posting up ongoing articles highlighting the best seed breeders in the world, so stay tuned to growingmarijuanaperfectly.com!