Medical marijuana: Seed sales "gray area" with the state

Categories: Marijuana

a 100x95 marijuana seeds.jpg
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The rumor going around the medical cannabis community that all seed sales have been suspended is not true. However, state Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division officials admit that they aren't quite sure how to regulate that part of the industry.

A February 3 blog post by Colorado-based Centennial Seeds founder Ben Holmes stated that due to confusion at the state level, he would no longer be selling his seeds until the situation could be sorted out.

"I have very recently become aware of an action by the MMED wherein my seeds are not allowed for sale in the state's licensed dispensaries," he wrote. "This is a complete surprise to me and I have not yet been able to reach a representative of the DOR or MMED for clarification. Since the beginning of my efforts, I have worked hard to set a good example of how a seed business should be conducted. I've set very high standards on germination, labeling, safety, quality and customer service. I hope this is the impression we have left with those who have supported us."

So, are seed sales banned? No, says Julie Postlethwait, spokeswoman for the MMED. But she admits that "it is a gray area. It is mentioned as being a form of medical marijuana. Technically they are allowed, but we have not yet defined how that would be."

There isn't much language about seeds in current Colorado medical marijuana laws and regulations. The only place they are mentioned is in the MMED rules posted last July. The passage reads:

Propagation includes but is not limited to the reproduction of Cannabis plants by seeds, cuttings or grafting in a designated limited access area only of an OPC [Optional Premises Cultivation Operation] facility that is monitored by one or more surveillance cameras as required by rule.

The propagation space shall be clearly identified by signage designated by the MMED and all marijuana located in the propagation space shall be accounted for as inventory. Propagation shall only be allowed upon an OPCL licensed premises.

Holmes says he would be in favor of a system that follows existing agricultural guidelines, such as the ability to track seeds sold by batch number, as well as to perform research and development. "If this wasn't a scary plant, this is how they would do it," he says. "That's how they do it with corn or any other seeds."

Postlethwait reveals that the MMED has been seeking some guidance on the issue from the legislature, but she can't predict if a fix will be made this session. In the interim, she notes, seed sales have not been banned by the MMED and says the current discussion is in no way related to seed companies recently opening up operations out of state. Things like that wouldn't even involve her agency, she maintains.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana dispensary review: Tea Pot Lounge in Denver" and "Cannabis Business Association thinks MMJ industry too young to unionize."

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26 comments
medical alarm
medical alarm

   “I had to refresh the page  times to view this page for some reason, however, the information here was worth the wait.”

Denver MMJ Patient
Denver MMJ Patient

Medical marijuana seeds, clones, etc. definitely needs solid legislation and regulation just like the rest of the MMJ industry in Colorado. Great article, once again, William, you always bring the fire we need to medical marijuana journalism. 

As for the reference to "hemp seeds", I hope those become legal as well, because not only does the cannibis plant make great medicine, it also produces the strongest natural fiber on the planet, which can be converted into countless products. Most importantly, it could replace this country's plastic dependency with a biodegradable, natural plastic.

fengMeee
fengMeee

This makes a lot of sense. This is a good thing.

Total-Privacy dot US

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You suckers BEGGED for REGULATION ... and now you got what you asked for!

Guest
Guest

why do you hate America?

NewWorldOrder
NewWorldOrder

He doesn't hate Paul Chabot's vision on what america should be.  Which is completely drug free. Its very possible if everyone were to be drug tested on a weekly basis.  You know that foolish plan proposed by Newt Gingrich and supported by most of the GOP. Anyone who tests positive for Cannabis will be sent to soylent green processing facilities! 

Guest
Guest

Ironically, half of the MMCs I visited in the last 35 days included 'free' seeds with each 1/8th.

Rico
Rico

@Monkey It is illegal to sell mj seeds via mail to any State in America. Also the single convention treaty applies to seed companies abroad. How ever I do agree its illogical.

Fast cash
Fast cash

 @monkey ...its really illegal to sell the mj seed how could u do this

Rico
Rico

Seeds are also mentioned under MMED rule as a waste/ byproduct.

E. “Processed” as used in this rule shall mean the final dried, finished anduseable marijuana product having been sifted and sorted to remove plantwaste, stems, and/or seeds and other byproducts prepared for finalpackaging and transport to the licensed center as permitted in law.So seeds are not useable marijuana according to MMED rule. A20 list seeds as useable marijuana but seeds are exempt from sales tax pursuant to 39-26-716(4)(b), CRS. The DOR only has jurisdiction over taxed tangible products and services. Allowing sales tax on seed producers by the MMED would not only be unlawful but set a dangerous example for other agricultural seed producers. Additionally MMCs using patient plant counts to produce seeds is a misuse of that plant count as MMCs are bound by law to grow useable marijuana for their assigned patients. Pollinated marijuana plants turn all their energy into producing seeds and stop flower production. The MMED should create a seed breeders license using the R&D license provisions in HB1043, no new legislative fix is required. This license could be structured similar to MIPs as they have non-patient plant counts to produce useable marijuana products which are not defined in A20.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

Unless and until the Federal Government stops its unconstitutional and illegal prohibition of Cannabis, they will, through threats of legal action and use of force, compel every state, county and municipal entity to stop supporting Medical Marijuana in any way. The Feds will continue to thwart any and every effort by any citizen for any reason to use, sell, grow, buy, possess or even promote any and all forms of Cannabis, medical or not. Until we all understand that, and bring about change that completely legalizes Cannabis for all Americans to use for WHATEVER reason, there will never be a solution to this problem, in fact, legalizing Cannabis for all to use for whatever reason they want is the only logical solution to this problem. Passing Medical Marijuana laws may have been a step in the right direction but I'm afraid they want to keep pot legal for Medical use only and bottle up that very very lucrative market for themselves but  there are way too many people in this country that want legal access to pot and don't need nor want to get a medical card just so they can have some smoke.  Cannabis should be legal for all to use, not just those that are sick and the vast majority of card holders that pretend to be so. To get Cannabis off the Federal list of prohibited substances and under control of the States, where the People can choose, we have to elect a President and a Congress that will make those changes. If we can't do that, and the DEA and DHS doesn't think we will, and they are not only hoping but trying earnestly to keep us from doing so, then we will never rid our country of the Federal authority to deny us our rights and we will always be slaves to them.

Spliffy's Cannabook
Spliffy's Cannabook

There doesn't seem to be any conclusion to this story. Much like the recent decision to trash the MMJ banking bill last week by the CO legislature it seems as if no one can find a path to compromise. Not only is it a dead end for all involved,  it appears that the MMED is making it up as they go along. I mean for a governmental organization such as the MMED to not include the important subject of seed sales in their thinking and regulatory planning is absurb! Where does Ben and the other seed companies go from here?

Ben
Ben

In all fairness you cannot blame the MMED for the vagueness of their rules on the seed issue. These rules were formed and steered by many people, myself included, who saw that making seed and making medicine were two very different businesses. Seedmakers just did not fit into the MMC/MIP licensing schema.

There is no path because we're the first ones here :)

Having said all of that, the opportunity now is to go back to the rulemaking process and flesh out an occupational license for laboratories under 12-43.3-202(1) (b), C.R.S. A license of this type could be the perfect dovetail that MMED is seeking for seed and it would provide a sturdier footing to other peripheral business classes such as testing labs.

The hard part is over. Seed regs shouldn't be difficult.

What a mess.
What a mess.

Ha! Want to bet how long it will be until an occupational license for laboratories is fleshed out?  That check has been in the mail for over a year. It will probably be right around the time the registry hits what? 50,000? Six months?  Maybe right around the time the Feds decide to send letters to all the labs and infused product companies.  I would wagger that you see a seed ruling long before a lab license. Just simple numbers: 10 or more seed companies and plus 100's of dispensaries sell their own seeds.  What are there 1 or 2 labs left? 

Monkey
Monkey

Cali Connection, Resin Seeds, Emerald Triangle, Rare Dankness...... the list goes on and on. Anyone selling seeds abroad just has to claim a "sister company" in Spain. It's kind of a joke but you can sell them as "souvenirs." I bought seeds from an online auction in Spain and found out the original breeder was in Grand Junction, this was before anyone sold them in local stores. This isn't really new but because a Colorado company is doing it now, the other Colorado companies are pissed they didn't do it first and are calling attention to it. Can't we all just get along without concerning ourselves with what someone else is doing? Cali seems to be able to do things for much longer but here in Colorado, we can't seem to do anything the same for more than a year, what's our problem? Too many jealous narcs.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Selling / Distributing viable marijuana seeds is a violation of Federal law,

Sending them interstate, or international, or via the U$ Mail is an additional offense.

Just ask Marc Emery.

MARC SCOTT EMERY 40252-086 54-White-M

INMATE NAME & REGISTER NUMBERFCI YAZOO CITY MEDIUMFEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONP.O. BOX 5888YAZOO CITY, MS 39194

Hydroponics
Hydroponics

A fire led officials to a marijuana growing operation in Broome County. Firefighters were called to a home on Lippa Road in Harpursville Friday morning. They said a lit cigarette was thrown out the window, causing the siding of the house to catch fire.

guest
guest

The Fort Collins MMED office has repeatedly threatened MMC's in the Boulder Area selling seeds, and their statements have been inconsistent with the MMED officials in Denver.  While this may be a grey area, the two offices should take the same approach regarding the issue.  

Ben
Ben

The MMED agent that services the Carbondale area has been confiscating seeds from MMCs. When I called her and identified myself she hung up on me. So, yes, the policies are inconsistent at best. The rudeness I just chalk up to a bad hire.

Guesto
Guesto

Ron Paul 2012 

Free Colorado 

Stop the Federal Invasion of our Land 

J. Nayer Hardin
J. Nayer Hardin

With all the healing benefits from hemp seeds, I can't believe the evil in our government goes to making the seeds that the Lord decreed illegal.  It's fuckery pure and simple. Get the government out of our gardens. They have no business there except too put us in jail for interacting with a plant. 

Ben
Ben

Thank you William for bringing this important question to the forefront. Access to viable seed is a fundamental right every MMJ patient in Colorado should fight to preserve.

You're a solid man, WB. -Ben Holmes

GreatWhiteNorth
GreatWhiteNorth

Ben - Sorry to hear you're the next business to get caught in an MMED grey area. Your business is a great example of a pre-1284 innovator who fought hard to evolve along with regulations, and I have no doubt you're still only interested in getting a clear set of rules to follow.

Just remember, if things get worse in CO, the federal government in the Great White North still allows seed breeders to serve patients without fear of having your door kicked in... 

joe mama
joe mama

too bad there has hardly been any patients fighting for anything MMJ in CO. have you been to or seen pics from rallies and protests? lack of a good fight brought us 1284. pre-1284 there were just over 100,000 patients with the ability to be a political juggernaut but when only a handful turn out to fight it we get shit stains like julie postlethwait, the medical marijuana criminal enforcement division and 1284. and still no fight for anything since. CO MMJ is dying if not already dead, both thru action and inaction.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Thank you Ben, for all you do. Hopefully there's a good resolution to this issue sooner than later.

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