Is It Legal To Sell Marijuana Seeds

Marijuana became legal in Virginia on July 1. Happy Tree Agricultural Supply has seen its business double month to month since Virginia lawmakers voted to legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. How does one grow marijuana without first breaking the law to acquire the seed?

What you can and can’t do now that marijuana is legal in Virginia

Under Virginia’s marijuana legalization laws, home cultivation of four plants is permitted, if the plants are labeled, out of public view, and away from children.

RICHMOND, Va. — Marijuana became legal in Virginia on July 1. Happy Tree Agricultural Supply has seen its business double month to month since Virginia lawmakers voted to legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

The Scott’s Addition shop sells CBD, hemp, and home grow products, but Happy Trees and stores like it will not be allowed to sell marijuana seeds, per state law.

Under Virginia’s marijuana legalization laws, home cultivation of four plants is permitted, if the plants are labeled, out of public view, and away from children.

However, the selling of marijuana seeds will still be illegal, as will transporting them across state lines.

Virginians 21-years or older will be allowed to gift less than an ounce of marijuana to another person in private. The advocacy group Virginia Normal has a FAQ for those seeking clarification on the new laws.

For Happy Trees, the new law has brought in a boom of new customers who all have questions.

“Business has been doubling month to month over month and we have a lot of people excited to get into this sector,” said co-founder Josiah Ickes on June 16. “There was this elderly couple, and they actually came in and all they did was drop a newspaper down that said marijuana legalization on it. Then, they just stared at me. It was really interesting because it was like they didn’t know what to do next, and that’s how a lot of people in the Commonwealth are.”

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In a grow room next to the front register, Happy Trees has set up a display of how to cultivate marijuana inside at home using the correct materials and soil, but they are growing locally sourced tomato plants instead. Their tomato yields are donated to non-profits.

Co-founder Christopher Haynie, who heads the store’s horticulture efforts, said defoliating the tomato plants is an act of Zen for him each day. He doubts even when legal sales begin in Virginia three years from now, in-store retail grows will be allowed.

“The leaf doesn’t need to be there, then it goes away. It makes me happy,” Haynie said. “No marijuana will be grown here until the cannabis control authority releases strict regulations, and we get a license.”

Hayne said he spent several years working in three other states that already have legal marijuana markets. For Virginians thinking of navigating the new regulations to grow the plants at home, Haynie said proceed only with clarity and caution.

“What we don’t want in Virginia is for people who think they’re doing the right thing to inadvertently break the law and get in trouble for it,” he said. “It’s incumbent on us as responsible adults now that cannabis is legal in Virginia to follow the rules. I’ve never been much of a rule follower, but a lot of us have been waiting for this for a long time, so we’re not going to mess it up.”

For now, Happy Trees will only offer growing advice and equipment.

“I think we need to continue focusing on what we’re best at, and that’s helping educate people on how to grow the best plants possible,” Ickes said.

“As a responsible adult, the best thing you can do is read the regulations and/or consult an attorney,” said Haynie.

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Virginia recently launched a state website to clarify what will and will not be allowed beginning July 1st. Visit cannabis.virginia.gov for more resources.

Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

How you can legally grow marijuana in Virginia if buying and selling seeds is against the law

Diane Toscano said their law firm has been flooded with questions from clients about how to grow and to use recreational marijuana at home and not run afoul of the new laws.

RICHMOND, Va. — When Virginia’s new marijuana laws go into effect on July 1, it will become legal for adults 21+ to carry up to an ounce of marijuana. It will also become legal to grow up to four marijuana plants (per household) in Virginia.

However, it will remain illegal to buy or sell seeds with which to grow the plant.

How does one grow marijuana without first breaking the law to acquire the seed?

It’s a question that should be clarified once the new law officially takes effect and the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority jumps into action on July 1.

“Prior to decriminalization taking effect in 2020, the Commonwealth was arresting upwards of 30,000 Virginians annually for marijuana possession,” NORML development director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state chapter, Virginia NORML, said. “So while Virginians may be asking, ‘Where can get I cannabis legally,’ it’s unlikely Virginians are asking, ‘Where can I get cannabis?'”

The new law does provide at least one legal loophole for interested parties to get started.

An adult can legally share or gift a marijuana plant with another adult as long as no money is exchanged or trade occurred.

It will not be legal for that “gift exchange” to happen in public.

Christopher Haynie, who co-founded Richmond-based CBD, hemp, and home grow products store Happy Tree Agricultural Supply advised
Virginians thinking of navigating the new regulations to grow the plants at home to proceed with clarity and caution.

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“What we don’t want in Virginia is for people who think they’re doing the right thing to inadvertently break the law and get in trouble for it,” he said. “It’s incumbent on us as responsible adults now that cannabis is legal in Virginia to follow the rules. I’ve never been much of a rule follower, but a lot of us have been waiting for this for a long time, so we’re not going to mess it up.”

It will also be against the law for Virginians to order seeds from other states where marijuana is already legal.

VirginiaNORML has answered some frequently asked questions here.

In April, the Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly voted to accept Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill that will allow limited possession and cultivation of the drug starting in July.

Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed the bill when it initially went through the General Assembly, railed against the latest version.

Del. Chris Head (R – Roanoke County) called the bill “a train wreck.”

“The hard-fought compromise that barely made it out of this chamber and over to the Senate has just been discarded. And why is that? It’s because some activists want marijuana legalized and they want it legalized now, consequences be damned,” he said.

It will be years before legal retail sales is allowed in Virginia.

The bill lays out the complex process of creating a new state agency to oversee the marijuana marketplace, with sales beginning and regulations going into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.