A Guide to Buying Marijuana Seeds in AustraliaFind which online seed banks are still operating in Australia and get a clear understanding of the current marijuana laws in each territory.
Formerly a land of strict prohibition, Australia’s cannabis laws have undergone a significant shift in recent years. Medical marijuana use is now legal continent-wide and gradual steps toward recreational legalization are underway. However, the legal landscape remains complex, and it is critical for anyone considering growing marijuana in Australia to understand the current laws and regulations.
How to (Safely) Buy Cannabis Seeds in Australia
The Preferred Way: Order Your Seeds From A Reliable Online Seed Bank
Anyone interested in growing their own weed must buy seeds online in Australia, as no local brick-and-mortar shops are allowed to sell them. Given the federally illegal status of growing cannabis seeds in Australia, it’s wise to opt for discreet shipping wherever possible, as obviously labeled cannabis seeds are often confiscated at customs or stolen for sale on the black market.
For the sake of quality as well as safety, home growers should only buy cannabis seeds online in Australia from reputable seed banks.
Several well-known retailers, including Herbies, ILGM, and Bonza Seeds (recently bought by ILGM) used to ship cannabis seeds to Australia, but all three have stopped the practice due to packages frequently failing to reach their destinations.
Local Seed Banks in Australia
Another option is ordering from one of the local cannabis seed banks in Australia, such as Madcanna or CG Australia. While these local retailers are decent places to get Australian cannabis seeds, it’s hard to beat the genetics, customer service, and free, discreet shipping offered by Blimburn and MSNL, currently the overall best suppliers of femininized or autoflower cannabis seeds in Australia.
If you do decide to order cannabis seeds in Australia, just how illegal is it to grow them? Read on for a summary of the current cannabis laws in Australia and the specific legal restrictions of each state.
Understanding Marijuana Laws in Australia
|Medical Use||Legal||Requires doctor’s approval and licensing||As prescribed by a physician|
|Recreational Use||Illegal||Decriminalized in the ACT||Up to 50 grams of dry flower or equivalent in other forms (ACT only)|
|Growing Cannabis||Illegal (except for ACT)||Indoor cultivation only; must be kept secure and out of public view||Up to 2 flowering plants and 2 immature plants per person, with a maximum of 4 flowering plants per household (ACT only)|
|Paraphernalia||Illegal||Strict regulations, but ACT and Victoria have more lenient definitions||–|
|Selling Cannabis||Illegal||Sharing or gifting cannabis is also illegal||–|
|Public Use||Illegal||No public consumption or possession in the presence of children||–|
|Driving||Illegal||Zero-tolerance policy for THC in the bloodstream||–|
- Medical Cannabis Use – Medical marijuana use is legal throughout Australia for the treatment of select medical conditions. In order to qualify for medical marijuana in Australia, you must go through an approval and licensing process with the issuing health department in your state. The use of CBD products also requires physician approval.
- Recreational Cannabis Use – Recreational cannabis use is illegal at the national level throughout Australia. The one exception is in the ACT, where it is decriminalized. As long as you aren’t in public or around children, you won’t get in trouble with ACT law enforcement for using cannabis.
- Growing Cannabis – Growing marijuana in Australia is illegal, even for approved medical-use patients (outside of the ACT). Cultivating hemp or CBD seeds in Australia is illegal, as is growing via hydroponic and artificial methods. Where decriminalized, cannabis plants may only be grown indoors and must be kept secure and completely out of view from both children and the public.
- Paraphernalia – “Drug paraphernalia” is illegal in Australia, and possession of it can land you criminal charges. The definition of “paraphernalia” includes (but is not limited to) rolling papers, smoking pipes, bongs, and other glassware, hydroponic growing equipment, and even cannabis seeds. The ACT and Victoria have the most lenient definitions concerning cannabis-specific paraphernalia.
- Selling Cannabis – It is illegal to sell, share, or gift marijuana to anyone else, anywhere in Australia.
- Public Use – Public use of marijuana in any form is illegal, even if no one can see you doing it. It is also illegal to use or possess cannabis in the presence of children at any time.
- Driving – Driving with any amount of THC in your bloodstream is illegal everywhere in Australia, even if you are not impaired. A mouth swab test may be given if an officer suspects you of driving under the influence. It is not illegal to have medical cannabis in your vehicle, but it must be contained in its original prescription packaging at all times.
Note: While we strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information, we at 10Buds are not legal advisors. Therefore, none of the information in this article should be relied upon as legal advice. For your own safety, we strongly advise discussing any questions you may have with a lawyer in your local jurisdiction.
Australian Cannabis Laws by State
Cannabis laws in Australia vary from state to state, with some states having decriminalized recreational use and others still maintaining strict prohibitions. Here’s an overview of the legal status of cannabis in each Australian state and territory, including the penalties for possessing and cultivating cannabis, both within and exceeding the permissible limits.
|State/Territory||Recreational Status||Medical Status||Penalties for Quantity Limits (Within Limits)||Penalties for Exceeding Quantity Limits|
|Australian Capital Territory (ACT)||Decriminalized for personal use||Legal||No fine for possessing up to 50 grams of dried cannabis or 150 grams of fresh cannabis nugs||Fine instead of criminal charges|
|New South Wales (NSW)||Illegal||Legal||Less than 10 grams: Caution and referral to drug and alcohol diversion program||More than 10 grams: Fines and potential jail time|
|Victoria||Illegal||Legal||Possession of 25 grams or less: Caution and referral to Drug Diversion Program||More than 25 grams: Fines and potential jail time|
|Queensland||Illegal||Legal||Less than 50 grams: Potential referral to drug diversion program||More than 50 grams: Criminal charges|
|South Australia||Decriminalized for personal use||Legal||Fine of up to $200||Fine of up to $200|
|Western Australia||Illegal||Legal||Cannabis intervention requirement (CIR) for first offense of possession of up to 10 grams||Fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to two years in jail for second offense or possession of larger quantities than 10 grams; fine of up to $20,000 for possession over 100 grams|
|Tasmania||Illegal||Legal||Warning and referral to a drug intervention program, up to 50 penalty units, a fine of up to $7950, and/or up to two years in jail for possession of up to 50 grams of non-medical cannabis or paraphernalia||–|
|Northern Territory||Illegal||Legal||Fine of up to $200 (payable within 28 days) for possession of fewer than 50 grams of cannabis, 1 gram of hash oil, 10 grams of hash, any number of cannabis seeds, or up to two non-hydroponic plants in your own home||200 penalty units or two years in jail for cultivation of more than two plants; life in prison for possession of over 20 plants; potential life sentence for cultivation of any amount of cannabis in view of children|
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Recreational cannabis is decriminalised in the ACT, meaning that individuals over age 18 may possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis or 150 grams of fresh cannabis nugs without penalty. Indoor growing of cannabis is permitted, with a limit of two plants per individual (no more than four total plants per household). Exceeding these limits (for personal use) incurs a fine instead of criminal charges. Cannabis use or possession by a minor will result in a SCON (Simple Cannabis Offence Notice), a fine (payable within 60 days), and/or a referral to a drug and alcohol diversion program.
New South Wales (NSW)
In contrast, NSW has quite strict cannabis restrictions. Possession of fewer than 15 grams may result in a caution and a referral to a drug and alcohol diversion program. If you rack up two or more cautions, the fines quickly become very expensive and a maximum two-year jail sentence is possible.
Only approved medicinal cannabis use is legal in Victoria. A first possession offence of 50 grams or less typically results in a caution and referral to the Victoria Cannabis Cautioning Program. Only two such cautions may be issued before criminal charges are brought against you. Quantities of over 250 grams of flower or more than 10 cannabis plants are considered trafficable amounts, with potential fines over $500,000 and 15-20 years of jail time.
In Queensland, medical cannabis may only be prescribed in non-smokable mediums (such as tinctures, sprays, capsules, and vaporizers). Queensland police officers have the discretion to refer individuals possessing fewer than 50 grams of cannabis to a drug diversion program instead of filing criminal charges – provided the person is not being charged with additional offences at the same time.
In South Australia, cultivation of a single plant, private cannabis consumption, or possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis flower, 20 grams of resin, or any paraphernalia may entail a fine of up to $150 (due within 28 days) instead of criminal prosecution. Cultivation of multiple plants carries a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 2 years in jail.
In Western Australia, possession of up to 10 grams receives a cannabis intervention requirement (CIR) instead of criminal charges – but only for a first offence (minors may receive up to two CIRs before facing criminal charges). Second offences or possession of larger quantities than 10 grams may result in a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to two years in jail. Fees jump up to $20,000 for quantities over 100 grams.
In Tasmania, possession of up to 50 grams of non-medical cannabis or paraphernalia is punishable with a warning and referral to a drug intervention program, up to 50 penalty units, a fine of up to $7950, and/or up to two years in jail.
In the Northern Territory, possession of fewer than 50 grams of cannabis, 1 gram of hash oil, 10 grams of hash, any number of cannabis seeds, or up to two non-hydroponic plants in your own home is subject to a fine of up to $200 (payable within 28 days). Cultivating more than two plants can land you 200 penalty units or two years in jail. Those caught with over 20 plants may face life in prison. A life sentence is also a potential consequence of any amount of cannabis cultivation in view of children.
Cultivating Cannabis Indoors in Australia
Since outdoor cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes is prohibited in most Australian states and territories, venturing into indoor growing offers a viable alternative for those seeking to cultivate their own plants. While indoor growing requires more controlled conditions and specialized equipment compared to outdoor cultivation, it provides greater flexibility and enables enthusiasts to cultivate a diverse range of strains, regardless of their climate or outdoor growing restrictions.
Selecting Indoor-Friendly Strains
When selecting seeds for indoor cultivation, it’s crucial to consider the available space and growing conditions. Opting for strains that are known for their compact stature and shorter flowering periods can help maximize yields within limited indoor environments. Two excellent choices for indoor growing in Australia include:
- Godfather OG Strain: This indica-dominant hybrid is renowned for its impressive yields and relatively compact growth, making it ideal for smaller indoor setups.
- Runtz Strain: This indica-dominant strain boasts a delightful aroma and flavor profile, while its compact growth pattern makes it suitable for indoor cultivation.
Optimizing Indoor Growing Conditions
To ensure optimal growth and yield, providing the right indoor environment is essential. Here are some key considerations:
- Use a Grow Tent: Employing a grow tent helps create a controlled environment that isolates the plants from external factors like pests, temperature fluctuations, and light pollution.
- Choose Grow Lights that fit your tent: Utilize mild, adjustable grow lights to provide the necessary light intensity and duration for photosynthesis. Avoid using overly powerful lights that could damage the plants.
- Consider purchasing a Grow Tent Kit: Investing in a grow tent kit from reputable brands like Mars Hydro, Vivosun, or AC Infinity can save time and effort, as these kits come with compatible components that work harmoniously.
- Maximize Space and Plant Health with LST and Topping: Employ plant training techniques such as Low-Stress Training (LST) and Topping to optimize the use of your grow tent’s space. These techniques encourage the plants to grow horizontally, promoting bushier growth and better light exposure, ultimately increasing yields and plant health.
Continue Your Learning Journey:
To delve deeper into the world of cannabis cultivation, explore our comprehensive grow guide, where you’ll discover a wealth of information on various growing techniques, indoor and outdoor setup considerations, and strain selection strategies. Embark on an informed journey into the intricacies of cannabis cultivation and unlock the secrets to cultivating thriving, high-yielding plants.
The On-Going Timeline of Cannabis Laws in Australia
Here’s a look at how Australia’s shift from strict and complete cannabis prohibition to a gradually increasing acceptance.
- 1924: Cannabis is declared illegal and restricted by the Geneva Convention on Opium and Other Drugs.
- 1979: Decriminalization of marijuana is proposed but ultimately denied, citing conflict with the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
- 1987: South Australia decriminalizes recreational marijuana use. Possessing small amounts of cannabis for personal use is no longer considered a criminal offense, but it is still subject to certain restrictions and penalties.
- 1992: The Victorian Parliament decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use, but the law is overturned by the High Court in 1996.
- 2004: Western Australia decriminalizes cannabis, but the decision is repealed in 2011 as part of Liberal Premier Colin Barrett’s “tough on crime” policy.
- 2016: Medical marijuana is legalized throughout Australia for patients with select chronic conditions.
- 2019: The New South Wales government announces plans to decriminalize cannabis, but the proposal is later shelved.
- 2020: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) decriminalizes recreational marijuana use, possession, and personal cultivation within its borders.
- 2021: Cate Faehrmann introduces the Cannabis Legalisation Bill 2021 in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, aiming to legalize cannabis and cannabis products.
- 2023: Greens Senator David Shoebridge introduces the Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 to the Australian Federal Parliament, seeking to legalize adult-use home cultivation and commercial cannabis across the country.
We expect cannabis laws in Australia to keep evolving as the continent’s biggest cannabis supporters, such as the Greens Party, continue working toward further decriminalization. Overall, Australia already has a relatively lenient approach to first (and often second) offences regarding personal quantities of cannabis, focusing on harm reduction and drug treatment strategies over criminal charges.
Resources for Further Information
To stay up-to-date on the latest cannabis laws and regulations in Australia, consider these resources:
- Australian Government Department of Health: Provides comprehensive information on the medicinal use of cannabis in Australia, including eligibility criteria, prescribing guidelines, and patient resources.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW): Publishes research and data on cannabis use in Australia, including prevalence, patterns of use, and associated health and social harms.
Buying and Growing Cannabis Seeds In Australia: Summing It All Up
While Australia’s legal landscape is certainly evolving, recreational cannabis use and cultivation presently remain illegal across most of the continent. This means that anyone considering growing cannabis seeds in Australia must carefully consider the risks and potential consequences. If you decide to take the chance of growing your own autoflower or feminized cannabis seeds in Australia, only purchase seeds from reputable (and discreet) cannabis seed banks, such as those we recommended in this article.
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