Learn how to start your own marijuana seed bank business in part 1 of our guide. Introduction to the formation of your own marijuana seed bank. Seed Licensing, Registration, and Other Frequently Asked Questions Provisions in Act 329, the Michigan Seed Law, authorize the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to regulate Marijuana seeds are mostly intended for planting, whereas hempseeds are often used for nutrition. Here's a look at the marijuana seed trade.
How to Start a Marijuana Seed Bank Business Pt. 1
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How to Start a Marijuana Seed Bank Business Pt. 1
Learn how to start your own marijuana seed bank business in part 1 of our guide.
A marijuana seed bank that sells marijuana seeds may ship the seeds into the United States and many other countries around the world. Marijuana seeds, also known as cannabis or weed seeds, are sold categorized by name, genetics, plant sex, and other attributes. A seed bank might simply collect the seeds for their own preservation; however, most seed banks tend to sell to consumers.
As of early 2020, hundreds of marijuana seed banks exist with websites that allow consumers to buy various cannabis seeds, shipped discreetly to their home or business address.
Certain marijuana seed banks only sell their own brand of seed strains. The large majority of marijuana seed banks sell seeds from other brands, or breeders.
Whether you decide to breed your own or simply resell, knowing the top breeders and most popular strains is crucial to understanding the wants of consumers.
Legal Aspects of Starting a Marijuana Seed Bank
Years ago, most of the marijuana seed banks registered their businesses in either the UK or the Netherlands. Both countries allow for the sale, possession, trade and purchase of cannabis seeds legally, although neither country permits cultivation of cannabis.
Today, Spain is the most popular place to start a cannabis seed bank, due to the legality of cannabis seeds and cultivation in Spanish law.
Whatever country you decide to open your marijuana seed bank business in, be sure to carefully consider the local regulations, state and federal laws before doing so.
Creating Your Seed Bank Website
The website for a marijuana seed bank must be able to display and categorize your products, allow customers to purchase the products and keep stock inventory.
An eCommerce CMS (content management system) is often used as the software for the online store. The most popular being WordPress, Magento and Shopify.
You may consider learning the software yourself or hiring a developer, although with seed banks especially you will want this to be someone you can trust.
By far the most difficult aspect of running a marijuana seed bank website is credit card processing. Due to the high risk nature of the marijuana seeds business, most of the easiest methods will not work very long.
Many seed banks are in a constant state of finding better payment processing solutions. High risk merchant accounts for marijuana seed banks exist that may help with this, although for a considerable cost.
Buying cannabis seeds with Bitcoin is perhaps the easiest solution for marijuana seed banks to receive payment; however, only a small percentage of consumers pay with this option.
Seed Licensing, Registration, and Other Frequently Asked Questions
Provisions in Act 329, the Michigan Seed Law, authorize the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to regulate the labeling, coloration, advertising, sale, offering, exposing, or transporting for sale of agricultural, vegetable, lawn, flower, and forest tree seeds. Act 329 also authorizes the Director of Agriculture to adopt rules for its enforcement, provides for the inspection and testing of seed, and prescribes penalties for violations.
Act 221, the Certification of Seed law, characterizes certified and certain classes of seed, authorizes the Director of Agriculture to promulgate rules and regulations governing the certification of seed as to certain genetic and other standards, authorizes the designation of official seed certification agencies, and provides penalties for violations.
- An inspector from MDARD issued a “Violation Notice” or “stop sale” to my retail store preventing me from selling specific seed lots because of labeling problems. What do I need to do to have the stop-sale removed?
- I received a seed analysis report indicating that my seed product had problems and that it cannot be sold. How do I correct the problem? Who should I notify when I have corrected the problem?
- If test results revealed that the seed’s germination has fallen below the required minimum standards, it cannot be sold.
- If the seed’s quality does not meet standards for other crop, inert material or weed seed, it cannot be sold unless it can be reprocessed in such a way that it meets those standards.
- The seed is misbranded:
- Testing showed that it failed to meet the label’s stated claims or guarantees.
- The test date had expired.
In cases of misbranding the problem can usually be corrected by simply replacing the original labels with new labels that reflect the information found in the official seed analysis report. If the test has expired, a new label showing the date of the latest test is required.
If the seed cannot be sold, contact the supplier to see if they will replace it or give you credit for it. Any seed that cannot sold or returned should be destroyed.
When the problem has been corrected, contact the inspector who issued the violation notice or stop sale order. It is illegal to resume selling any seed that is the subject of a violation / stop sale notice until a representative of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development has verified that the seed has been made legal.
- What does the term KIND refer to?
- KIND means 1 or more related species or subspecies which singly or collectively is known by 1 common name, including, but not limited to, oats, wheat, soybeans, corn, Kentucky bluegrass, annual ryegrass, and petunia.
- What is a seed VARIETY?
- VARIETY means a subdivision of a kind which is distinct, uniform, and stable; distinct in the sense that the variety can be differentiated by 1 or more identifiable morphological, physiological, or other characteristics from all other varieties of public knowledge; uniform in the sense that variations in essential and distinctive characteristics are describable, and stable in the sense that the variety will remain unchanged in its essential and distinctive characteristics and its uniformity when reproduced or reconstituted as required by the different categories of varieties; for example, Heritage oats, Augusta wheat, Corsoy soybeans, Marion Kentucky Bluegrass.
- What is the difference between a seed MIXTURE and a seed BLEND?
A blend of seed consists of more than one variety of the same kind of seed being sold in the same bag/container, each variety present comprising at least 5% of the whole. For example, a BLEND may consist of different varieties of Kentucky blue grass.
Starting a marijuana seed business: What you need to know
With marijuana and cannabis use rising rapidly as legalization sweeps the nation, it is easy to see why more and more people are wanting to jump on the bandwagon and start their own marijuana seed business.
If run and managed well, a marijuana seed business can be a lucrative market to be a part of and can offer a huge number of benefits for both customers and the business alike. Seed production is less regulated than many other businesses, because consumers do not ingest them directly. Remember, we’re not talking about hemp seeds for eating, we’re talking about seeds for planting.
So, how can you go about starting up your own marijuana seed business? Learn more with our guide for getting started with your seed bank business today.
How many seed banks are there?
Before you get started with your own seed bank business, you should look at the competition you are facing. Though cannabis has not been legalized globally yet, its legalization is becoming more common and, in line with this, more and more seed banks are popping up.
Don’t just consider local seed banks, either; though there is a niche for local seed banks in certain areas where cannabis seed sale and purchase has been legalized, such as in Canada, the vast majority of online seed banks operate in a global market. The Dutch have dominated the field for decades and still produce top quality seeds but their leadership on cannabis reform has flailed in the current millennium. So, you should consider not only local or national seed banks but global seed banks and what they offer for customers.
As of the start of 2020, it is safe to say that customers have hundreds of different options for seed banks. There are the big players, of course, such as ILGM, MSNL Seed Bank, and Crop King Seeds (just to name two of the most well-known names). However, new seed banks are also popping up regularly. Each of these has to offer something new to entice customers, be it new strains or great prices and promotions. And, after all, since you’ll likely be operating in a global market you’ll need to work hard to get new customers to come to your seed bank as opposed to choosing an established one.
Don’t Forget to Consider the Legalities!
Different countries have different laws regarding the cultivation of cannabis and its sale. Therefore, it is important to make sure you check the different rules for your country (and potentially even your region) before attempting to start a seed company. For example, in certain countries or areas, running a seed bank may be completely legitimate and not illegal, whereas other areas may have a different stance. There are even differences between states often, so do your research first.
Getting Started with your New Marijuana Seed Company
So, you’re ready to get started with opening your marijuana seed company. But what do you need to do during this early stage of opening your business?
Understanding Strains and Seed Selection
First, consider whether you’ll be selling your own unique strains or reselling other breeders’ cannabis seed strains. There are pros and cons to both options, which may suit your needs differently depending on how you intend to run your marijuana seed business.
If you are selling other breeders’ strains, you’ll likely face more competition from other seed banks as these will likely be available elsewhere. You won’t have much control over the quality of the seeds that you are selling. Furthermore, since these strains will likely be available elsewhere, you might need to offer great promotions or discounts for the seeds – you may even need to operate as a loss leader in order to entice new customers.
Alternatively, you could breed your own strains of seeds for sale. By breeding your own seed strains, you will have full control over the quality of seeds that you’re selling as well as having a great USP (unique selling point) to entice new customers. Since these seeds won’t be available anywhere else, if people want to try the new and exciting strain then they will need to shop through your marijuana seed bank to get the seeds! Of course, there are two glaringly obvious drawbacks to this system: for one thing, you will need to develop your own strain of seed in the first place (which can take a considerable amount of time) and, secondly, you’ll also need to make sure you have the facilities in place to produce enough seeds to keep supply met for your seed bank’s customers.
In addition to this, you should also consider offering feminized and auto flowering strains to your customers. These are often popular choices and you may lose sales if you don’t offer them, whether you sell your own strains or sell other breeder’s strains.
Get the Website Right!
Your website will likely be the main thing that your new customers judge you on, so make sure you get this right. Website builders such as WordPress, Magento, and Shopify are great for E-commerce stores, so you may want to consider building a website with these – or otherwise hire a developer.
Before you even make your first sale, you’ll need to have a think about how you will accept payments from your customers. Common payment options for seed banks include Visa and Mastercard debit and credit card payments, cryptocurrency (especially Bitcoin), bank transfers, and the like. Do your research and choose a payment option that will give your future customers plenty of chances to make a payment in a manner that they feel comfortable with! Don’t forget to consider how your payments will appear on your customers’ bank statements, too – discretion is key for seed banks! Now you can get free Bitcoin for the things you already do in daily life.
Above are just some of the things that you’ll need to think about when opening your seed bank. There are a huge number of different factors to consider even in the early stages. However, don’t get these first days wrong; make sure you put in the time and effort to make your seed bank the best it can be if you want to be able to compete in the growing, competitive, and highly international cannabis and marijuana seed industry.