Despite the fact that Canada and several states have legalized cannabis, finding good quality seeds for home cultivation is still elusive.
Many cannabis shops across North America don’t even stock cannabis seeds even when the demand has been higher than ever.
For many years leading up to legalization, seed banks were able to sell cannabis seeds through a legal loophole. By stating that seeds were for novelty purposes only, they were able to shield themselves from liability. These grey market seeds are still available and are years ahead of the legal market in terms of quality, choice, price, and availability.
Since legalization in Canada, licensed producers are slowly catching up and are offering more options to home cultivators.
Where can you buy cannabis seeds online?
Going online is the easiest way to find the exact type of cannabis seeds you’re looking for. In Canada, you can buy seeds through provincial retailers like the Ontario Cannabis Store. Your choices here will be limited to what seeds they have decided to carry. Some retail outlets can sell seeds through their own online portals as well. Seeds from the legal market are only sold in 4 packs. There are very few feminized seed options, so non-feminized seed packs have a 50/50 chance of producing cannabis flowers if they germinate. Flimsy flat plastic pouches for seeds are also quite common and seeds can easily be damaged.
The grey market options (like Crop King Seeds and True North Seed Bank) have been operating for several years and have many options for home growers. You will find strains from many different sources and even different versions of the same strain from different cultivators. Autoflowering and feminized seeds are very easy to find.
Legal Market Cannabis Seeds Online
The Ontario Cannabis Store has very few options for seeds. They also provide very little information on how to grow the seeds they offer. For many in Ontario, this is the only legal online option available.
The Shelter Market is a collective of several licensed producers that work together to help improve the legal cannabis market in Canada. They are based in BC but include brands from across Canada. They have a focus on craft cannabis which is fantastic. To purchase seeds from their market you need to register and have a medical license to possess cannabis in Canada.
Wiid is a chain of cannabis stores in Saskatchewan. They currently have 3 choices available and can only ship to Saskatchewan since inter-provincial selling of seeds is not allowed.
Grey Market Cannabis Seeds Online
Crop King Seeds has been around since 2005. They offer hundreds of different strains to choose from including autoflowers and feminized. Crop King has all sorts of guides on cannabis growing and seed germination. They recently expanded their operations to the US and have an online store for US orders.
True North Seed Bank is based in BC (just like Crop King) and has over 1500 seed choices available on their online store including autoflowers and feminized. They also offer bulk seeds in the 100s and 1000s, but beware since possessing cannabis seeds in this quantity from a grey market source can get you into a lot of legal trouble.
Where can you buy cannabis seeds in person?
Buying cannabis seeds from a retail store is a great choice because it helps your local business community. You won’t find as many choices in-store as you will online but you should be able to find something nice to grow. There is the same issue with the legal market being far behind when it comes to seed choices, but it’s a market that’s slowly growing. Here are you legal and grey market choice for buying cannabis seeds from a brick and mortar store.
Legal Cannabis Seeds Stores
Legal Cannabis Dispensaries
If you have a legal dispensary where you live, then you might be lucky enough to buy seeds from them. Not all cannabis dispensaries sell seeds so it’s best to call first and see what type of selection they have before visiting. In Canada, the seed selection at these types of stores has been growing lately and in some cases, you might find a better selection than what you find legally online. Support your local cannabis dispensary when you can and if they don’t sell seeds ask them to reconsider.
Grey Market Cannabis Seed Stores
Head shops (also called glass shops) are stores that sell all sorts of cannabis-related items. Besides bongs, pipes, and papers many also sell cannabis seeds. If you’re in Canada, the most common seeds you will find at these shops are from Crop King Seeds. The cashier here might be able to give you some guidance on how how to grow these particular seeds.
Not all cannabis conventions will offer seeds. Sometimes when they do you might be able to get a nice deal from a vendor. They could be worth checking out if they’re happening in your city. There may be an entry fee so make sure it’s worth your time to check out all there is to offer.
Other Sources For Cannabis Seeds (FREE!)
Bagseed refers to the random seeds you might find in your legally purchased cannabis flower. They shouldn’t be there but sometimes they slip through quality control and into the containers. There’s no guarantee these seeds will germinate or be of very good quality. There’s also no way to know if it will grow to be a male or female plant. It’s a bit of a gamble but they can turn into great yielding plants. It’s also nice to try and grow a strain that doesn’t have seeds available for sale.
Make Your Own Cannabis Seeds
Making your own seeds is really easy if you don’t mind sacrificing the yield of your next harvest. All you need is some female plants and one male. A male cannabis plant can fertilize thousands of females. If you were to buy the regular seeds on offer from cannabis dispensaries you will most likely get a few males and a few female plants. Once the plants mature the males will pollinate the females. The females will then focus on producing hundreds of seeds. One plant can provide enough seeds for years of growing. Some seeds might be duds but the vast majority will grow into beautiful cannabis plants.
Cloning Cannabis Plants
Not really a seed option but something you should know about. A cannabis clone is a clipping (or cutting) from a female cannabis plant. These cutting can be grown into exact copies of their mother plant. The benefit here is that they will be exact clones of each other. Seeds can have all sorts of genetic variations from their parent plants.
There has been talk about clones coming to the legal market but when that happens in Canada is anyone guess,
What To Ask When Buying Cannabis Seeds
Are They Indica or Sativa?
Cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are similar but very different in the way they grow. Sativas tend to grow very tall and have a long flowering period. Indicas are shorter and usually mature faster than sativas. You’re most likely going to find a hybrid of the two plants so you should ask which is more dominant in the strain.
Are They Feminized?
Female cannabis plants produce cannabis flowers while male plants only produce pollen. You will save yourself a lot of trouble if you know your seeds will grow into females. Regular seeds have a 50/50 chance of producing a female so if you want to grow 4 female plants you will need to germinate 8 seeds to have a statistical chance of doing so.
Are They Autoflowers?
Autoflowering cannabis plants will flower independently of the environment. Regular plants need a change in light duration to trigger flowering. Autoflowers are a great choice for growing outdoors in a northern climate since their flowering time is very short and can be harvest before frost hits.
They are optional but some find autoflowering cannabis varieties much easier to work with.
What is the Flowering Time?
Every strain will have an average length of the flowering period. Knowing this will tell you how long it will take to mature completely. Sativas can have a flowering period of several months which shows they would be a poor choice for an outdoor grow unless you live near the equator. The veg period proceeds flowering and takes about a month.
Seeds purchased from the grey market are considered illegal in Canada. Check your local laws before purchasing seeds from these sources.
In Canada, possessing more than 30 cannabis seeds in public is considered a crime. Home limits are different and as of writing this the only provinces with limitations on home possession are BC and Quebec. Again, be sure to check local laws before you start stockpiling seeds.
This guide will answer many questions about growing cannabis, like the following...
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