Pot growers are already cloning crops of weed all throughout the Bay State in anticipation of high demand once legal marijuana shops open up — and to bypass the federal ban on transporting cannabis seeds across state lines, industry insiders say.
The Cannabis Control Commission said its regulations allow medical pot growers to sell “seeds and clones” to any pot shop as long as the strains are tracked.
“There’s no need to move seeds across state lines because there’s a procedure to transfer from the medical marijuana market into the adult-use market,” said a commission spokesman.
Duplicating Cannabis Seeds Bypasses Fed Laws
That’s good news for would-be pot purveyors who are already wary of drawing the attention of federal agents who are keeping an eye on the weed market. Federal law prohibits pot or pot products from crossing state lines.
“Having access to clones removes any obstacles,” a pot shop executive told the Herald yesterday.
Legal weed has yet to go on sale in Massachusetts as the pot commission works on the final approvals — especially for testing labs. The commission has issued provisional licenses to nine retailers that are already selling pot and pot products under the medical marijuana program.
Those shops are in Leicester, Amesbury, Northampton, Brookline, Wareham, Easthampton, Plymouth, Salem and Fall River.
Those growers must hold back at least 35 percent of their inventory for medical use, but the rest can be shared statewide. If they do, they must “tag and track” all seeds, clones, plants and other products using the “seed-to-sale” radio frequency identification program, according to Cannabis Control Commission regulations.
Plus, that keeps all the seeds within state lines.
Adam Fine, a Massachusetts attorney who represents cannabis companies, said he counsels his clients to only buy seeds and plant clones from locally licensed cultivators.
But, he added, it’s likely some are — or will be — bringing in seeds either from out of state or from the illicit market already in Massachusetts. He said seed origin is an issue regulators have historically kept at an arm’s distance.
“It’s been the regulators in the first instance not asking where the product is coming from because it’s put them in a difficult position,” Fine said. “It was the question that was never asked: How did the seeds get there?”
U.S. Attorney in Boston Andrew E. Lelling said in July his office will focus on “overproduction” of pot, sales to minors and organized crime and interstate transportation of drug money. The legal age to buy pot is 21.
The pot law also allows for the legal possession of one ounce of weed and up to a dozen plants in a household. A person can have up to 10 ounces inside their residence.
Cigarette and pot smoking are both banned in non-smoking areas.
But when it comes to seeds, be wary of the web stores offering “discreet” delivery. That’s still breaking the law.