What’s legal Cannabis is legal in California. You can buy cannabis if you are: 18 or older with a physician’s recommendation (medicinal use) 21 or older (adult use) Cities and Get started growing a pound of your favorite strain this year by shopping the world’s biggest legal genetics market — the Golden State. Cali bud could end up on the East Coast easier than you think, according to a new official determination from the DEA.
Cannabis is legal in California. You can buy cannabis if you are:
- 18 or older with a physician’s recommendation (medicinal use)
- 21 or older (adult use)
Cities and counties may have stricter laws about cannabis than the state. Go to your city or county website to learn about rules in your area.
There are different rules for medicinal users and adult users. Medicinal users:
- Have higher possession limits
- Can grow more plants at home if their physician recommends it
- Buy more cannabis each day if their physician recommends it
The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) has resources for medicinal patients and their caregivers.
Where you can use cannabis
You can use cannabis on private property, but not in public places like restaurants or bars.
- Smoke cannabis where it’s illegal to smoke tobacco
- Smoke cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center or youth center while kids are present
Property owners can ban the use of cannabis on privately-owned property. If you rent, read your rental agreement to see if there are any restrictions.
Most hotels do not allow guests to use cannabis in their hotel room. Ask the reception desk about the hotel’s policy to be sure. If you stay in a vacation rental, check with the property owner about the rules for your stay.
Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, which means you also cannot:
- Use or possess cannabis on federal lands, like national parks
- Take cannabis across state lines
Growing cannabis at home
You can grow up to 6 cannabis plants at home if you’re at least 21 years old. If you turn the cannabis into a product, you cannot use volatile solvents like butane or propane.
Some cities and counties have specific rules for home grows, such as permit requirements or requiring grows to be indoors. Contact your local office to learn the rules in your area.
Driving with cannabis
Having an open container of cannabis while driving or riding in a vehicle is illegal. If you have cannabis in a vehicle, it must be in either:
- A sealed package or container
- In the trunk of the vehicle
Law enforcement officers can pull you over to conduct a sobriety test if they suspect you are operating a car, boat or other vehicle under the influence of cannabis.
How to buy cannabis
All cannabis retailers must have a license from DCC. Licensed retailers have strict rules that:
- Prevent sales to minors
- Ensure all products are tested
- Ensure the amount of THC and CBD on the label is accurate
Some stores that look legitimate are not actually licensed. Stores without a license may sell untested products. Untested cannabis can have:
- Harmful chemicals
How to find a licensed retailer
Use the DCC license search to find a licensed retailer near you. Once you find a retailer, you can:
- Order online for in-store pickup
- Order online for delivery
- Visit a store
Retailers must display their state license in their window so customers can see it. You can scan the QR code on the license certificate to verify their status.
The Best California Dispensaries to Buy Cannabis Seeds & Clones
Growing your own cannabis is now legal in California under Proposition 64. If you happen to smoke often, consider gardening mandatory.
This simple but revolutionary act will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars, provide a fun hobby, and give you access to rare cultivars that you can’t find at local dispensaries. Plus, watching cannabis grow is one of life’s pleasures, encouraging a more personal connection to the plant, and a deeper appreciation to your DIY supply.
California is the best place in the world to buy legal cannabis seeds — since 2018, they’ve been on sale in dozens of stores across the state. All you need is a valid I.D. showing you are 21 and over, and some cash. Here’s the best dispensaries in California to get your garden growing in 2019.
Start fantasizing about your backyard crop by browsing the menus, find the plants best suited to your needs at a dispensary near you, and begin planning your Spring garden now!
Best Southern California Seed & Clone Stores
Buds and Roses in Studio City, Los Angeles
With fresh drops from Dark Heart including fun, new strains like Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Napali Pink, and Mirage, expect to find clones at this acclaimed L.A. dispensary along with about 20 seed varieties from Equilibrium Genetics, including several CBD-rich strains. Choose from Black Lemon Glue, Orange AC/DC, Cheese Lights and many more, ranging from $45 to $79 for a six-pack of seeds. Set a few plants out on your sunny patio to enjoy while you relax poolside!
BARC Beverly Alternative Relief, near Beverly Hills
Yo, the one percent needs good herb, too. Maybe it’ll chill them out a bit — make ‘em more magnanimous. Pop into clone outlet BARC near Beverly Hills to scoop up new clones from Dark Heart Nursery including Original Glue, CBD-rich Remedy, and the on-trend Black Jack at BARC this winter.
Desert Organic Solutions in Palm Springs
Desert dwellers south and east of Los Angeles can tap the power of the blazing sun to grow their own affordable supplies of CBD-rich cultivars from Equilibrium Genetics — in stock at Desert Organic Solutions in Palm Springs. CBD Glue Tide 1:1 takes the joy of Original Glue’s aroma and pairs it with the soothing effects of CBD. The strain Orange Romulawi promises a trippy mix of citrus, sedative Romulan, and energetic Malawi. As for “Lemon Wookie Glue”? That’s all you to discover.
805 Beach Breaks in Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo County
The weather and soil of San Luis Obispo County makes it an agricultural center for all kinds of produce, cannabis included. 805 Beach Breaks in Grover Beach is your connection to seeds from top-ranked California breeder Cali Connection. Cali Connection’s feminized Blue Dream Haze is so easy to grow, you can toss a few beans in your backyard, set it, and nearly forget it till harvest.
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Best Northern California Cannabis Seed Stores
Bloom Room in San Francisco
Tucked into an alley in downtown San Francisco, this tiny shop has a reputation for carrying boutique flowers that you can’t find anywhere else, and their seed selection is no different! Here you’ll find a dozen unheard-of varieties from Cult Classic Seeds, a Sonoma County breeder with novel genetics named American Girl, Ripple, and SmokeyMon, fairly priced at $100 for a ten-pack. Don’t leave without picking up an eighth of flower from Red Beard Farms or JAHnetics, you’ll be glad you did!
Berkeley Patients Group in Berkeley
This pioneering Berkeley dispensary stocks just a few seed varieties from Cali Connection, Crockett Family Farms, and TGA Seeds. Look for the CBD OG seeds if you’re interested in growing a CBD-rich variety, while TGA’s Vortex is a lovely award-winning sativa that would benefit from stretching out in a sunny backyard. Prices at BPG range from $80 for a five-pack of Vortex to $110 for 12 seeds of Crockett’s highly resinous Clifford cultivar.
Harborside in San Jose and Oakland
A robust genetics department stocked with seeds and clones has always been part of Harborside’s trailblazing business model, with knowledgeable staff available to assist with cultivation questions. Over a dozen Dark Heart clones were in stock recently, including Do-Si-Dos, Purple Punch, Sherbet and Blackjack. Look for seeds from Humboldt Seed Company, including favorites like Lemon Kush, Humboldt Headband and GS Cookies, priced at $110 for a 20-pack.
Bumper Crop: Grab Crockett seeds this year and vault to the front of the pack. (Courtesy Crockett Seeds)
Humboldt Patient Resource Center in Arcata
It’s worth a road trip up to Humboldt to visit this genetics mecca, where you can choose from an overwhelming 200+ varieties of seeds from industry leaders like Humboldt Seed Company, TGA Genetics, Rebel Grown, Crockett Family Farms, and DNA Genetics, as well as rarities from local breeders like South Fork Seed Collective ,and NorStar Genetics. Look for old-school favorites like Cannalope Haze from DNA Genetics, Pre-98 Bubba Kush from Cali Connection, and Jack’s Cleaner from TGA Genetics, who also offers five seeds for just $30, making it more affordable to mix and match a few different varieties. HPRC lists more seeds on Leafly than any other place in the world!
Satori Wellness in McKinleyville
With over 80 seed varieties in stock, Satori Wellness is a great spot to score genetics from Humboldt Seed Co., Crockett Family Farms, and Talking Trees Farms. Prices range from $50 for six seeds from Equilibrium, with 20-packs from Humboldt Seed Co. holding steady at $100, and a ten-pack of sought-after Melon Chunks from Dying Breed at $350. Commercial growers can stock up on 100 Pineapple Tsunami seeds for $399, enough to plant a field full of this CBD-rich cultivar. Small-scale growers can source enduring classics like Jack Herer, OG Kush and AK-47, which have become hard to find on dispensary shelves, and if you go on “Farmer Fridays,” you get 10% off seeds!
Santa Cruz Naturals in Aptos
Pick up fun flavors from Crockett Family Farms at this Aptos dispensary, including feminized varieties of hot new strains Cherry Poppins, Georgia Peach, and Slurpee Syrup, which are guaranteed to produce female plants, eliminating guesswork for growers. A six-pack of feminized seeds costs $125, compared to regular varieties of Banana Pie and Strawberry Fields priced at $115 for a 12-pack.
CannaCruz in Santa Cruz
This bud boutique only stocks a few select seeds from Equilibrium Genetics, including classic cornerstone genetics like Northern Lights, which every grower should plant at least once in their lifetime. Smoking Northern Lights is like taking a time machine back to the 1990s, when kind bud was slowly spreading throughout the United States and grunge reigned supreme. Prices for six seeds range from $40 to $70, making it possible to pick more than one strain for your summer garden. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the Super Sour Orange, a cross of Super Sour Diesel and African Orange.
Mercy Wellness of Cotati
Another outpost for Equilibrium Genetics with almost 20 varieties in stock. Get your garden started at minimal cost by spending just $40 for six seeds of either Orange AC/DC, Dream Queen Glue, CBD Orange Tide, Lemon Wookie Glue, or Cookies Glue. For $70, choose from an interesting old-school Panama Red cultivar with 2:1 CBD ratio, or Nelson’s Ledges, a legendary strain from Ohio with a colorful backstory.
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.
“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.