The historic legalization measure includes a social justice plan to give a piece of the action to groups targeted by drug wars. Here’s everything you need to know — including when you’ll be able to legally buy weed. Are you looking for Quality cannabis seeds? – 10 high THC Californian varieties – Fast shipping – Discover Sensory Seeds Although an increasing number of states are relaxing restrictions on growing cannabis at home, Washington is not one of them, as of press time.
How New York’s New Marijuana Law Plants Seeds of Fairness
Hundreds of people packed into Union Square for a rally advocating the legalization of recreational marijuana use on May 4, 2019.
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a law legalizing recreational marijuana in New York — baking in an ambitious social justice plan to give populations targeted by never-ending drug wars a piece of the potentially lucrative action.
The historic law, the culmination of drawn-out, fierce negotiations in Albany, will allow people to possess up to three ounces of pot and grow a limited amount of cannabis at home. The measure also will expunge the convictions of people whose offenses wouldn’t have been crimes under the new law.
But the law’s centerpiece is a set of social equity provisions that should pour 40% of tax revenues from legal weed sales into communities long-devastated by over-policing and offer marijuana business opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups.
New York, which became the 15th state to fully legalize recreational marijuana, hopes to succeed where some others have failed in bringing fairness to the industry — even as a new Office of Cannabis Management and a Cannabis Control Board carries a whiff of bureaucracy.
Here’s a guide to the law’s attempt at equity:
Who Qualifies as a ‘Social Equity Applicant’?
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) sets a goal of giving half of all sales licenses to those who qualify as “social equity applicants.”
- Women-owned businesses
- Businesses owned by people of color
- Minority or Women Owned Business Enterprises, defined as a business in which women and/or people of color own at least 51% of the company
- Small farm operators in financial hardship or farms operated by someone in an underrepresented demographic
- Service-disabled veterans
- People from areas negatively affected by past cannabis prohibition
Applicants who fit one or more of those categories will be given additional priority if they:
- Make 80% or less of their county’s median income. In the case of New York City, 80% of median income is $63,680.
- Come from an area disproportionately impacted by past enforcement of cannabis laws
- Were convicted of a marijuana-related offense before the bill was signed into law
What Services Will be Offered to Social Equity Candidates?
New York State’s Urban Development Corporation will receive additional funding to provide assistance to social equity applicants — including creating a small business incubator that will dole out low- and no-interest loans to help pay for start-up costs.
“That’s the big missing piece of the puzzle that we haven’t seen in other states,” said Melissa Moore, the Drug Policy Alliance’s New York director.
The CITIVA Dispensary across from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, May 2, 2020.
Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY
“You can do priority licensing for social equity, but if there isn’t an avenue for people to be able to access capital it becomes a moot point because of federal prohibition it’s just about impossible for people to access the normal type of small business loans that would generally be available,” she added.
Nathaniel Gurien, CEO of a Manhattan-based cannabis consulting firm, told THE CITY the incubator, which will give financial advice to applicants, is crucial to the success of social equity efforts.
Gurien said the educational component could help everyday New Yorkers who may want to use existing skills to pivot to legal pot sales.
“Like in Times Square, you have all these tour bus hawkers,” said Gurien. “Some of those guys who may live in The Bronx and qualify for minority equity licenses, they can get a decent low-interest loan from one of these business development [agencies] with cannabis-related funds.”
How Will Underserved Communities Benefit?
The combined tax revenue on cannabis products, expected to eventually yield $350 million annually, will fund the planned Office of Cannabis Management and other agencies that have new responsibilities under the law, including the Office of Court Administration, state police and the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
About 40% of the remaining money will go to the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund. Qualified community organizations and local government agencies can apply for grants to help areas that were disproportionately affected by federal and state policies surrounding marijuana.
In New York City, this likely means that the next mayor will play a large role in how some of the money is spent.
Approved uses include: job placement programs and skills training, adult education services, mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
Also on the list: housing, financial literacy, community banking, nutrition services, after school and child care services and legal help for formerly incarcerated people.
License applicants who put forward plans that include community benefits and ways to help people impacted by the drug wars are to be given additional preference as well.
Susanna Short, a spokesperson for a Massachusetts dispensary called Mayflower, told THE CITY that pushing businesses to do their part to uplift neighborhoods has led to stronger community ties. There, Mayflower has created community gardens, hosted skills seminars and launched a fellowship program.
“It’s not a matter of compliance, it’s a true commitment,” Short said.
What Type of Licenses Can Eligible Applicants Apply For?
The MRTA allows for nine different licenses and permits that pot entrepreneurs can eventually apply for:
- Cultivator licenses, for people who want to go grow cannabis
- Processor licenses, for people who want to turn cannabis into other products, like edibles, concentrates and tinctures
- Distributor licenses, for people who want to distribute wholesale products from processors to licensed retail businesses
- Dispensary licenses, for people who want to directly sell cannabis products to the public
- On-site consumption licenses, for people who want to sell marijuana and provide space for customers to use cannabis products
- Cooperative licenses, for groups of people who want to cultivate, grow and process cannabis
- Nursery licenses, for people who want to sell baby-marijuana plants that haven’t flowered yet to other licensed pot businesses
- Delivery licenses, for businesses that want to provide delivery services in addition to their retail services
- Microbusiness licenses, for people who want to cultivate, produce and retail cannabis products with tight size limitations.
How Can Social Equity Applicants Apply for a License?
The short answer is we don’t know yet. The law doesn’t outline when the Office of Cannabis Management will open or when members of the Cannabis Control Board — a group of five individuals chosen by the governor and the state Legislature that will oversee the new agency — will be in place.
That being said, marijuana dispensaries could open by April 1, 2022. So Cuomo and the state Legislature will have to pick members of the control board within the next few months to get the bureaucracy going.
When Will Records Be Expunged?
The act is short on details and Cuomo’s press office didn’t respond to questions. But the legislation sets forth a timeline of expunging records within two years after the bill’s signing.
The new law builds on one the legislature passed in 2019. It now will provide for an expanded expungement of convictions for marijuana or concentrated cannabis offenses.
So When Will We Be Able to Buy Legal Pot?
The bill has set April 1, 2022 as the first day that New Yorkers can buy recreational weed. And because New York State is allowing medical marijuana shops to partially integrate into the recreational market, there are already a handful of operations that should be ready by that time.
HIGH QUALITY WEED SEEDS
Best automatic, feminized and Fast Flowering marijuana seeds online selected by SensorySeeds
SensorySeeds: the best selection of highest quality cannabis strains
SensorySeeds has become the leader in Europe in selling marijuana seeds online, by selecting the best weed seeds for very reasonable prices and by granting express deliveries.
Thanks to the venture with BSF Seeds, the most appreciated seed bank from California, only top shelf quality seeds make their way into our seed bank.
Actually, the acronym BSF stands for “Bigger, Stronger, Faster”: plants, which grow from SensorySeeds cannabis sativa seeds, are larger, more resistant and quicker at blooming.
In addition, SensorySeeds gives you the possibility to choose between the feminized and the automatic version of most of the cannabis strains available in the online shop collection.
Besides these two varieties, in our online store we sell fast growing seeds: we call them the Fast Flowering seeds for their high results in practically no time!
Our brand is the result of a perfect mix of high-quality standards, express delivery, and best prices: everything a seed bank needs to be the number one!
What are the Fast Flowering seeds?
Fast Flowering weed seeds are the ones whose high yield can be obtained in max. 6/7 weeks.
These seeds are so fast to overcome the bloom speed of the automatic seeds’ variety. Their secret is that the plant growing from fast seeds skips entirely the vegetative phase.
This type of marijuana seeds comes from hybrids between a range of feminized seeds and of autoflowering ones; otherwise it can arise from an automatic plant, when subjected to certain types of stress.
Such as the auto weed seeds, they come from feminized seeds and contain the genetic of the Ruderalis cannabis variety.
This means that, first of all, the fast flowering seed will grow a female plant with a probability of 95-99%, like the feminized seed, and also that the plant will be more resistant than any other arising from a regular cannabis seed, thanks to the Ruderalis’ genetics.
The latter is a sativa marijuana variety able to grow even in the most inhospitable environments. This make these weed seeds particularly apt for beginners, since there is no need for a particular cultivation ability. For other cannabis seeds breeders it might be useful to have a yield in the interval between two blooming cycles of other varieties.
Is it legally allowed to buy weed seeds online?
Yes! There are not any legal obstacles in selling and buying cannabis seeds, since they per se do not contain THC.
Nowadays, what many countries forbid is the cultivation of cannabis plants, at least in a domestic environment. In fact, for the moment neither EU nor the UK government have voted for the legalization of cannabis cultivation at home.
That is the reason why SensorySeeds stock of seeds is sold, at great prices, for collection purposes only. The buds that grow from our cannabis seeds have a high THC content, therefore unsuitable for domestic cultivation. Any other usage is, therefore, not of our liability – as indicated in our labels, that further specify that growing plants from our seeds is illegal in the UK.
To better preserve your marijuana seeds genetics’ collections, we put a lot of care into product packaging and into the instructions for the seeds’ storage.
If you need more details and updates on cannabis legalization and cultivation laws status, just take a glimpse at our blog, which provides the latest news on cannabis seed thanks to a constant update by our experts or, in alternative, search the answers to your questions on our Instagram or Facebook profiles!!
What is the difference with hemp seeds?
Most people think that the difference between hemp and all types of cannabis is the gender of the plants, so that hemp would simply be the male of the marijuana plant. Others believe that marijuana seeds, cannabis seeds and hemp seeds are all the same thing and the name is interchangeable. It is not.
Hemp and cannabis plants are not the same thing. Even if they both come from the same genetic of cannabis sativa, it is possible to appreciate the differences at a subcategory level.
From a merely legal point of view, the European legislator distinguishes hemp and cannabis on the ground of the plant’s THC percentage: therefore, if the level is above 0,2% we speak about Marijuana), otherwise it is hemp.
This is only an approximate distinction, that does not consider plants characteristics. While hemp, with high CBD content, usually grows in plantations mainly for industrial means, cannabis strains are usually smaller and bushier to the eye, therefore discreet; they also need more care and attentions from the breeder. Obviously, moreover, the effects are different. Being the hemp rich in CBD, it does not have psychotropic effects. On the contrary, it is often used as medical plant, for the benefits anyone can derive from its use.
How to best preserve cannabis seeds?
SensorySeeds products are packaged and delivered in a special capsule set with proper pressure and humidity, so that the correct preservation of the seeds is guaranteed.
Once the package is open it is suggested to keep the hemp seeds in a dry place with max. of 9% humidity, even better if dark and cool.
In addition, remember ideal temperature for marijuana seeds preservation stands between 43 and 47 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore the best site to put cannabis seeds at home is often the fridge.
To correctly preserve SensorySeeds items it is necessary to consider 3 factors:
cannabis seeds are living organisms, that can only be stored for a long time while they remain in a “rest phase”. This is interrupted, and therefore germination starts, when they are exposed to a humid space. Therefore it is suggested to put the marijuana seeds in a close storage unit with a maximum humidity of 9%
temperature swings may seriously damage the seeds. Therefore, as indicated above, it is a good idea to use the fridge as storage unit for the seeds, which can resist low temperatures easily. In order to avoid abrupt changes in temperature it is suggested not to open the fridge too often.
light is one of the factors, together with humidity, that can cause the growth of the plant. Not to expose the THC seed to direct light enhances the chances to preserve it intact and avoid the cannabis plant’s germination.
Being able to keep the right balance among these three elements is the key to keep your SensorySeed product fresh for even more than a year.
Are seeds suitable for indoor, greenhouse, glasshouse and outdoor?
The four mentioned above are the main cultivation methods of cannabis plants, which differ from one another for the environment in which the plant grows and the ways in which it receives the light. These are the main differences, but there could be others for what concerns the remaining elements necessary for cultivation.
A successful blooming may as well depend on the genetic characteristics of the plant, such as its dimension, or the variety of the weed seed.
Since domestic cultivation of marijuana seeds is illegal, this description is merely a theoretical illustration of these methods.
In particular, the indoor cultivation method has many advantages if conducted in a close environment, also considering that the fundamental elements for the growth of the plant (humidity, light and temperature), are in control of the breeder. For this reason, the yield of the plant is surely more abundant and also improved: the flower is usually more appealing, with more pleasant color and a stronger perfume. Therefore prices are usually higher for the harvesting.
Nonetheless, there are some downsides: the high cost of maintaining light and heat with electric energy and the fact that the space is considerably smaller, so for example it could be difficult to cultivate a regular sativa plant there. While the Indica strain is small and bushy, the sativa may reach a significant height, with wide branches. Therefore, the choice for the right space can be very important for the result.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are the most suitable for the classic method, the outdoor, having the plant no need for the normal 12 hours light cycle to bloom, because it is not photosensitive nor the growth and bloom depends on the seasons change.
Moreover, auto seeds reach maturation more quickly than the regular ones. These characteristics allow to have more cycles during the whole year and mean that they are suitable for amateur breeders. Nonetheless, an outdoor cultivation means that plants are exposed to atmospheric agents, such as mould or funguses and may suffer from temperature swings. That is why often the flowers are not perfect in quality and their prices lower.
Both in the case of Greenhouse and Glasshouse, plants grow in an environment that protects them from the exterior, since the breeder can adjust temperature, oxygen level, humidity and the soil’s richness with nutritive substances.
The two technics only differ for the source of light: while with the Greenhouse method plants benefit from the solar light only, with the Glasshouse solar light is used only in spring and summer and the rest of the year artificial light is used to grow plants. Therefore, such as with automatic seeds, harvesting is possible during the whole year.
The latter method could be the best choice to plant feminized seeds. This type of seed grows female plants with 90% probability or even more and in addition to that they produce female seeds with the same odds.
Can you buy cannabis seeds?
Although an increasing number of states are relaxing restrictions on growing cannabis at home, Washington is not one of them, as of press time.
While a bill that would allow adults 21 years and older to grow recreational-use cannabis at home has been introduced in the Washington state Legislature, currently the only legal exception for home growing is medical. If you have a Washington medical marijuana card, you can grow a small number of plants without registering, and up to 15 if registered.
If that’s the case, and you’re ready to start planting, where can you find seeds?
The short answer? It’s complicated. Even if you live in California, where it is legal for adults to grow cannabis at home, and you purchase seeds from a California-based seed bank, your package can still be confiscated if mailed.
In fact, you could get in more trouble for buying seeds from within the U.S. than from overseas, which is why the majority of reputable seed banks are in Europe.
How to buy seeds
Even though the United States is one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of cannabis legalization, the herb remains federally illegal. For this reason, it might be best to get your seeds from a friend or buy directly from a licensed shop. However, in these cases, you’ll have limited options that may not be suited to how and what type of cannabis you want to grow.
For more variety you can buy seeds online, although there are risks. Consider having them shipped to a state where growing marijuana at home is legal. That way, if your package gets intercepted, it’s unlikely you will face legal consequences. But you may still face legal jeopardy if you have to cross state lines to bring them home.
You should also make your purchase from a reputable seed bank capable of shipping to numerous states that understands the need for discretion. If the seeds are confiscated, most firms will either send a new package for free or refund your money.
Where to buy seeds
One of the more trustworthy sellers in the United States is I Love Growing Marijuana. Its website features information about growing, what types of seeds you’ll need and more. The website and store are run by Robert Bergman, an expert cultivator, and provides free shipping to customers in the United States and Europe.
Other online marijuana seed sellers in the U.S. may use incorrect labels when shipping, with terms like “luxury bird food” or “fishing bait additives.” Stores also may sell seeds as “collector items” or “additives.”
Another site worth exploring is the Royal Seed Bank from Canada. This site breaks everything down by the legality of each U.S. state and provides a variety of options.
Since most seed banks that offer cannabis seeds source them from seed banks in European countries, you may want to search there too.
Cannabis seeds are not illegal in the European Union, and technically it’s not illegal to purchase seeds from another country. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, a 1962 framework for marijuana legalization, is an international treaty signed by 180 countries stating that marijuana is classified as an illegal substance, but it says nothing about seeds.
Therefore, since international law takes precedence over a country’s own laws, cannabis seeds are technically legal in all 180 countries. However, when a product enters a European country, it becomes subject to that nation’s laws, which means it’s not easy to purchase seeds. For example, here is a look at cannabis seed laws in a few major European nations:
Germany: Seeds do not fall under the German Narcotics Act, so they are technically legal to purchase. Germany has prohibited the sale of cannabis seeds nationwide, but since the country is subject to the EU’s free movement of goods, having seeds sent to Germany is fine.
United Kingdom: At present, the UK allows for the purchase, sale, or trade of cannabis seeds whether you purchase them domestically or from another European nation.
Netherlands: Despite the nation’s relaxed attitude towards marijuana, it is still illegal to possess or purchase. However, you should have no issue purchasing cannabis seeds from a Dutch-based seed company.
Spain: Spain has a similarly lenient policy as the UK. Residents can buy and sell seeds if they are for personal use in private areas.
What to buy
There are three distinct types of cannabis seeds.
Regular seeds come from one female and one male parent and there’s a 50/50 chance that the plant will be the feminized version that will produce buds. However, you have no control of the plant’s gender and there’s always a chance you’ll waste weeks growing, only to learn a male plant will not yield what you’re seeking.
Feminized seeds have no male chromosomes and are guaranteed to provide resinous bud.
Autoflowering seeds are your best option if you want to grow indoors. These seeds have genetics which evolved in northern Eurasia, which makes them strong and sturdy. They are also mixed with cannabis ruderalis, a plant known for its ability to grow in harsh weather conditions.
One of the biggest advantages of autoflowering seeds is their ability to produce a minimum of two outdoor crops. When you grow them indoors, however, you can produce four or five crops a year, and certain strains can become mature in as little as 10 weeks. They are heavily resistant to mold and pests and produce a higher yield when exposed to powerful light sources.
You can learn more about the different types of seeds, strains, and how best to grow them on most seed bank websites along with any applicable local laws. Do your research, and keep in mind how, where, what and when you want to grow before making a purchase.
Always buy from a reputable seed bank. The last thing you want is to buy what you think are feminized seeds, only to discover that they are regular seeds only capable of producing male plants.
How much you will pay for seeds depends on the strain you buy. Typically, a pack of 10-12 seeds can be as low as $40 but expect to pay up to $500 for high-end strains.
You can purchase seeds within most states where growing cannabis is legal, but the issue is still complicated by the fact that the plant is federally illegal.
In the United States, cannabis seeds cannot cross state lines. Though rare, transporting the products across state lines could result in federal charges. This is true even if you are purchasing cannabis seeds in a state that authorizes it and are entering a state that also authorizes it.
For that reason, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney well-versed in cannabis law to make sure you are protected when buying seeds.
Kate A. Miner has a degree in visual anthropology, and has worked in marketing and advertising for many years. She writes, takes photos and teaches yoga.
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