Cannabis seed banks vs. seed brokers, they both are enjoying a booming business. While simultaneously providing much-wanted cannabis genetics to growers. Marijuana seeds are mostly intended for planting, whereas hempseeds are often used for nutrition. Here's a look at the marijuana seed trade. 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.
Cannabis Seed Banks vs. Seed Brokers: Know the Difference
Seeds are an essential part of growing cannabis. Even established commercial companies that grow from clones have an ongoing need for seeds in order to create and introduce new proprietary strains. A major percentage of home growers always grow from seed, and this reality resulted in the establishment of numerous seed banks and seed brokers years ago. The number of seed banks has only expanded over the years, answering the demand for exclusive cannabis genetics in the United States and other countries.
While Amsterdam reigns supreme as the capital for seed banks, many of their genetics originally came from the U.S., which creates an interesting situation. In order to gain access to these once-American strains, U.S. consumers ironically have to obtain them from Dutch suppliers. With cannabis laws becoming increasingly progressive in the U.S., an increasing number of legal options are now becoming available to seed seekers in the states. Seed banks and brokers are springing up with increasing regularity on this side of the pond, specifically serving the needs of American growers—while some European seed companies (not all) specifically serve the needs of the European market.
Occasionally, you will find strains marketed in both Amsterdam and America that have the same name and genetic background but are dramatically different. Skunk #1 is an excellent example. While the American Skunk #1 reflects its name and has a dank, skunky quality, the Dutch version is sweet, with no trace of the skunky aroma. Dutch breeders have selectively bred Skunk #1 to appeal to the Dutch palate, while American breeders have retained its skunky qualities, which many Americans love. This creates a different take on the same strain. Several other Dutch skunk strains have a sweet quality as well.
How Are These Businesses Different?
Although various seed companies don’t always call themselves seed banks and brokers, and market themselves as such, people who are seeking good cannabis genetics often rely on them to get seeds. While both types of companies sell seed, they are decidedly different.
Seed companies do their own breeding to create new strains they market in seed form. Through selective breeding and growing, they identify the best phenotypes and stabilize the strains—although some strain releases may have a few known phenos that can occur in a single pack of seeds. Seed companies strive for consistency so their buyers know what to expect and gain trust in them as a source for potent, flavorful cannabis. Most seed banks sell their own seeds, sometimes only at their main place of business, as well as well as distribute them through seed brokers. To confuse things further, some seed companies market their seeds under more than one name, or occasionally sell seeds from partner companies.
Seed brokers do not create seed. Rather, they market seeds from various seed companies and banks, and they may have seed available from a diverse assortment of different seed creators. Many seed companies depend on seed brokers to market their product. Unlike some seed banks, most seed brokers will mail seeds worldwide, while some seed banks will only sell within their own country or to select countries. Price doesn’t always dictate quality. There are some seed companies and banks that sell very high-quality seeds at reasonable prices. The highest-priced strains are often new and highly anticipated releases, as well as old classics that are in high demand.
The seeds that these companies ship are sent in protective, discreet packaging. Some places will let you choose to remove seeds from a breeder’s packaging. Then, they are placed in collectible souveniers such as tote bags, pens, toys, DVD cases, and more to avoid detection. Most of them ship orders in a very timely manner. Seed buyers should research and educate themselves about the legality of shipping cannabis seeds to their locations and place orders armed with that knowledge.
Let’s take a look at a variety of seed businesses, both seed banks and seed brokers. Quite a few American cannabis breeders have migrated to Europe to do business—especially in the days when cannabis prohibition was nationwide in the U.S. Since marijuana is now legal in many parts of America (U.S. and Canada), there is cross-traffic, with Europeans coming to America as well.
As far as some of the more prominent seed businesses, an online search will reveal many more for those who are shopping for seeds. If a specific seed company will not ship to your location and you have a strong desire to grow one of their strains, chances are good that a seed broker will send you the same seed strain, from the exact company that created it, with packaging to prove it.
These companies have been around for decades and have honed their craft to produce consistently high-quality seed. They are reliable, and the quality of their products has satisfied buyers for many years. Most of these companies have produced iconic strains that are widely known in the industry. Here is a small selection of notable seed banks.
This Dutch company has created some fantastic seed strains over the years. Sensi Seeds is the creator of Jack Herer, a wonderfully Hazy and fruity sativa-dominant strain that enjoys worldwide popularity and has garnered numerous awards. Sensi is also responsible for creating Silver Haze and Marley’s Collie, and is the original source for Maple Leaf Indica. Since 1985, Sensi Seeds has grown to become the world’s largest cannabis seed bank with over 500 varieties.
The strains from DNA Genetics have quickly attracted huge popularity, and for good reason. Potent and delicious, they have garnered an amazing number of well-earned awards. . All in all, they’ve won more than 200 awards in all categories at the industry’s leading cannabis events. DNA is the company responsible for bringing numerous heavy hitters to the market, including Chocolope, Lemon Skunk, and LA Confidential. Their Tangie and Strawberry Banana strains have also attracted legions of fans.
With a solid portfolio of favorites, T.H. Seeds is another company worthy of your consideration for its assortment of highly regarded seed strains. T.H. Seeds was started in Amsterdam in 1993. For over 25 years, the company has been focused on preserving quality genetics and sharing them with the world. The company is responsible for the original indica-dominant version of Bubblegum, as well as industry head-turners like S.A.G.E., MK-Ultra, S.A.G.E and Sour, Chocolate Chunk, and Heavy Duty Fruity.
With a long history in cannabis seeds, Dutch Passion offers excellent versions of outstanding strains. As one of the oldest seed banks in the world, they’ve ammassed a fine selection of original cannabis classic varieties and the best new ones, too. They have been a source for D.J. Short’s original Blueberry and also market an excellent Strawberry Cough. The Californian Orange strain is also one of their highly regarded releases.
Without a doubt, Serious Seeds has some seriously good cannabis genetics. With an inventory that’s more limited than most, it’s obvious the company prefers quality over quantity. Just about all their strains are notable and worthy of your consideration. The company created AK-47 and the sativa-dominant version of Bubblegum. Chronic is another of their original strains. They also have great strain genetics for Kali Mist, Warlock, and White Russian. They also offer Seriously Limited seeds that are limited to only 4,000 packs and Seriously Customized seeds that have multiple strains in a single pack.
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.
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.