Legally Growing Your Own Cannabis? You’ll Need Two Things You Can’t (Yet) Buy.

a small cannabis plant

Have you heard? Cannabis is now legal in Oregon for adults 21 and older! I know, it’s pretty great.

And provided you live at least 1,000 feet away from a school, you may grow up to four plants. Which is also pretty great.

Considering this is a state that encourages its residents to make their own lavender-scented beard wax, weed self-sufficiency is a natural progression.

No more waiting for your part-time barista/blog writer/weed dealer to show up with a sack of questionable strains for an above-market price.

No, you’re about to be free like the wind—able to grow your own sticky-kind head stash from sprout to finish. Right on for you!

Except for seeds.

And clones.

See, you can’t buy those yet. Yes, it became legal for you to grow on July 1, but you won’t be able to legally acquire the necessary genetics to grow your own pot until recreational stores open, which could be as far away as late 2016.

I would never, ever suggest you do anything illegal.

Perish the thought. That would be wrong.

So if you can acquire plants without money changing hands, all the better.

But if you are determined to cultivate your own private farm, and you need to buy the raw materials, you’re going to have to skirt the letter and spirit of the law, both state and federal.

SEEDS: Seeds are great. Provided you get them in a sealed package, you know exactly which strain you’re buying, and they come in regular (male and female, but you can’t tell which is which until they’re sprouted and grown for a few days or weeks), feminized (all the plants will be female), and auto-flowering (they will move from the vegetative to flowering stage automatically).

From squat kushes to towering sativas, you can choose exactly what you want.

Except, of course, you can’t buy them at your local gardening supply store.

This leaves us at the mercy of the internet, where you can order strain-specific seeds from a wide variety of seed companies.

Mind you, as listed in virtually every ad, “acquisition of live cannabis seeds is illegal in the United States.”

So ordering and receiving these seeds is a federal crime. But don’t let that stop you, baller. Use the Google to find seed banks with reviews of reliable service, including those that appear in High Times, which produces an annual issue listing the top seed-selling service providers.

CLONES: A cutting of a plant is a clone—an exact genetic match of the plant from which it was taken. The best way to acquire these is to become friends with a ganja farmer, as it takes about 45 seconds and less than two dollars’ worth of equipment to snip a branch and place it into a medium that will allow it to take root.

Or you can always try Craigslist. Search for someone selling “marijuana seeds and clones.”

After extensive emailing back and forth, agree to meet at a local Starbucks. Pay too much for smallish clones, and keep your fingers crossed.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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