Buying Marijuana Seeds in South Korea 2023Laws on Buying & Growing Marijuana Seeds in South Korea. Growing Tips, Recommended Strains, and the Best Seed Banks That Ship to South Korea For the 2023 Growing Season.
However, the South Korean government broke new ground in 2018 as the first East Asian country to approve the use of medical marijuana. Overall national opinions on cannabis remain largely unfavorable, though cannabis use is slowly growing in popularity.
Whether you reside in South Korea or are planning a visit, this guide has everything you need to know about the legal and practical aspects of buying, possessing, and growing cannabis seeds in South Korea.
Furthermore, you’ll discover top-rated seed banks that ship to South Korea, as well as recommended seed strains, grow tips, and so much more!
In a Nutshell — The Legality of Buying Marijuana Seeds in South Korea
If you want to buy and grow cannabis seeds in South Korea — this is a summary you want to read before buying seeds from an online seed bank.
- Medical Marijuana is legal but limited
- Recreational cannabis is illegal
- Growing cannabis seeds is illegal
- Buying and possessing ungerminated cannabis seeds is legal
Now that you understand the most important aspects of cannabis regulations in South Korea read below to learn in-depth information about seed banks, grow tips, seed strain recommendations, and so much more.
Growing Cannabis Seeds in South Korea
South Koreans have been growing cannabis for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
If you’re ready to take a crack at growing your own weed seeds in South Korea, here are a few important issues to understand before buying seeds from an online seed bank.
When to Sprout Cannabis Seeds in South Korea
The best time to germinate cannabis seeds in South Korea is between April and May.
Issues to Consider When Growing Marijuana Seeds in South Korea
If you decide to grow marijuana seeds in South Korea, here are a few issues to consider to ensure the safety of your weed plants.
- Law enforcement
- Pests and diseases
- Inclement weather
Remember, always place your marijuana garden away from the public at all times!
Tips for Growing Cannabis Seeds in South Korea
Now, here are three of our most recommended grow tips while growing marijuana seeds in South Korea.
Buy Cannabis Seeds From a Reputable Online or Local Seed Bank in South Korea
The most important thing you can do is to buy cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank. You’ll always find the best seed selection at affordable prices. Furthermore, seed banks offer verified seed strains, so you know what you’re getting.
Buy Cannabis Seeds for Your Regional Climate in South Korea
As you browse an online seed bank — always choose a seed strain that fits your local climate in South Korea.
Plan Your Cannabis Garden in Advance
Before you rush to plant your cannabis seeds that just arrived from a seed bank — wait!
Always set up your indoor or outdoor cannabis garden. Once done, you may germinate your weed seeds and get the 2023 growing season off on the right foot.
Which Marijuana Seed Store Is the Best Option For South Korean Residents?
Here are the two types of seed banks that South Korean residents and tourists can buy cannabis seeds in Korea.
Local Cannabis Seed Stores in South Korea
There are no South Korean cannabis seed banks, but some international seed banks will ship marijuana seeds there.
Online Cannabis Seed Banks That Ship to South Korea
Our favorite trusted seed bank for shipping to South Korea is Herbies Seeds, a Spain-based company with discreet shipping options. Herbies Seeds carries a wide variety of high-quality seeds, and they even throw in a few extra bonus seeds with every order.
Another incredible option is MSNL Seedbank — a top-rated seed bank that ships to South Korea.
Why You Should Buy Cannabis Seeds From Seed Banks
When ordering cannabis seeds in countries with strict anti-cannabis policies, the stealth shipping option can be just as important as the seed quality.
Stealth shipping means that your seeds will be sent in packaging that gives no indication of being cannabis-related, and your bank statement won’t reveal that you’ve ordered from a cannabis company either.
Cannabis seeds are legal to possess in South Korea, but if the government suspects you of ordering them with intent to grow marijuana, legal trouble may follow.
Therefore, always buy cannabis seeds from top-rated seed banks, such as those mentioned above, to avoid any problems in South Korea.
Recommended Cannabis Seed Strains to Buy From Online Seed Banks and Grow In South Korea
Now, let’s talk about our three favorite cannabis seed strains to grow in Korea for the 2023 growing season.
Dwarf Low Flyer Autoflower Seed Strain
We recommend the Dwarf Low Flyer Autoflowering seed strain because it’s a must-have variety if you grow cannabis in an apartment in South Korea.
Remember, growing cannabis seeds is illegal; therefore, you need to grow weed fast. The Dwarf Low Flyer Auto seed strain is exactly that, and it offers top-shelf bud, potency, and flavorful terpenes!
Auto Blue Dream Seed Strain
If you want to grow an absolute cannabis classic — look no further than the Auto Blue Dream seed strain.
The Auto Blue Dream seed strain flowers quickly, and you’ll have top-shelf buds in no time. The Blue Dream seed strain is a must-have for the 2023 growing season, from berry-like terpenes to body-numbing relaxation.
Wedding Cake Feminized Seed Strain
If you want to grow one of the dankest cannabis seed strains in South Korea — look no further than Wedding Cake.
The Wedding Cake seed strain is filled with mind-blowing THC and mouth-watering terpenes. Furthermore, the Wedding Cake seed strain is easy to grow and yields buckets of bud in 8-weeks!
The History of Cannabis and Cannabis Seeds in South Korea
Hemp grows naturally in the wild in South Korea, and people in this part of the world have harvested it for its fiber, dating as far back as 3000 BCE.
In the 1930s, hemp was still widely cultivated for textile production in every province of South Korea. In 1957, as many countries worldwide began restricting the use of cannabis and other psychotropic substances, President Syngman Rhee put the Narcotics Act into place.
This act criminalized the use of several controlled substances, including Indian-grown marijuana. Korean-grown marijuana seeds were still legal under the Narcotics Act at that time – but it did not remain legal for long.
The Re-Emergence of Cannabis in South Korea
Cannabis’s popularity in South Korea (and many other parts of the world) grew in the 1960s as many young Korean citizens, and popular musicians embraced the “happy smoke.”
South Korea’s government, concerned over the development of a “rebellious” shift in culture, implemented The Cannabis Control Act in 1976, banning all forms of cannabis.
New Exceptions for Medical Cannabis
In January 2018, Shin Chang-Hyun, a representative of the National Assembly of South Korea, proposed an amendment to the Narcotics Control Act that would permit Koreans with certain rare and intractable medical conditions to use cannabis medicinally.
In July 2018, South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety expressed willingness to permit the import and use of cannabis-derived pharmaceutical medications that were already available in the United States and European markets.
On November 23, 2018, the National Assembly agreed (with a 205 to 1 vote) to the amendment, making South Korea the first East Asian country to legalize the controlled use of cannabis. On March 12, 2019, the new rules officially took effect.
A Growing Demand for Affordable Medical Marijuana in South Korea
The Korean Cannabinoid Association (KCA), previously known as The Organization of Legalizing Medical Cannabis in Korea, is still lobbying the government to expand the current medical marijuana program to cover more health conditions and to allow CBD oil as an over-the-counter treatment option.
The high demand and prohibitive cost of the cannabis-based pharmaceuticals currently approved in South Korea make them an unrealistic treatment option for many families. A 100 ml bottle of oral use CBD-based medication, for example, is currently priced at around 1.5 million won (1,358 USD), and health insurance does not cover cannabis medicines.
However, the Korea Cannabinoid Association faces the challenge of being on the other side of popular opinion on this matter. Individual Korean citizens who support medical marijuana legalization tend to be less vocal in their support, as showing too much interest in cannabis may attract unwelcome attention and investigation by law enforcement.
South Korean Marijuana Laws – Is Weed Legal in South Korea?
In nearly all cases, using, possessing, selling, or growing cannabis from seeds in South Korea is illegal.
The Legality of Cannabis Seeds From Seed Banks in South Korea
Cannabis seeds, stems, and roots are exempt from the ban, but germinating cannabis seeds in South Korea is only allowed with the express permission of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, under Presidential decree.
The South Korean government has a goal of maintaining a “drug-free nation.” This means that no person may be under the influence of drugs at any time on Korean soil.
Korean citizens and visitors alike will even find themselves in legal trouble upon their return to South Korea if they’re discovered using marijuana outside of the country.
Medical Cannabis Medications Are Now Legal
The South Korean government legalized the use of imported marijuana-based medications in 2019.
However, at this time, they have only approved a small number of cannabis-derived medications, and only for the treatment of a select few rare and intractable medical conditions (including epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and wasting syndrome associated with cancer and other conditions).
Approved Medical Marijuana Products in South Korea
The only approved medical cannabis products at this time are Sativex, Eipidolex, Cesamet, and Marinol.
The Korean Orphan Drug Center is the government agency responsible for facilitating prescriptions of medical marijuana. All applications for medical marijuana must pass through this agency, which then imports and distributes the approved prescription medications to patients.
Cannabis Smuggling Is on the Rise in South Korea
The legalization of marijuana in a growing number of countries has led to a higher incidence of marijuana smuggling into or through South Korea.
In the first six months of 2018, following the legalization of recreational cannabis in the U.S. state of California, The Korea Customs Service seized 18 kilograms of cannabis at South Korea’s ports of entry – more than it had throughout the entire year in 2017 (13.6 kilograms).
The Port of Seoul is a frequently-used drug-smuggling point between China and Japan, but penalties are severe for those caught doing so.
Despite its non-psychoactive properties, CBD oil is still treated as a controlled substance and is also illegal to import into South Korea. Bringing CBD products into the country with the intent to treat persistent health conditions has caused the arrests of several Korean citizens in recent years.
Consequences and Enforcement of Cannabis Laws
South Korean police may stop and search you without a warrant if they suspect you of using, buying, or selling drugs.
Prison terms of up to 5 years and/or fines up to 50 million won (equivalent to 48,000 USD) are common for buying or selling marijuana in South Korea. Having any amount of THC in your system can also result in fines and jail time. South Korean law enforcement most often uses the hair follicle test for THC detection.
A Watchful Eye of Cannabis Use in South Korea
Police presence in South Korea is heavy, and citizens with biases against cannabis may report suspected use.
The police here are highly unlikely to let offenders off with a warning or accept bribes. However, the courts may reduce sentences for those who provide information on other drug users or dealers. Purchasing weed from South Korean dealers does carry the risk of being outed to police if your dealer ends up getting arrested.
Punishments for Tourists Consuming Cannabis in South Korea
Foreigners arrested for marijuana use in South Korea often serve short sentences, ranging from a few days to a few months before being deported.
There is no program in place subjecting everyone entering the country to random drug tests, but there is a government watchlist to keep tabs on people with previous drug-related arrests. Alluding cannabis use on your internet social media accounts may also be enough to get you onto one of these watchlists.
Buying, Selling, Possessing, and Growing Cannabis Seeds in South Korea
Though the sale, use, and possession of cannabis are strictly prohibited, it is legal to possess roots, stems, and cannabis seeds in South Korea.
This exception exists to allow for the production of textiles, rope, and other products made from hemp fiber. However, germinating cannabis seeds into marijuana plants in South Korea is highly illegal.
Despite a climate where hemp grows easily and naturally, attempting to grow your own cannabis seeds in South Korea is a risky venture, especially outdoors.
South Korean Cannabis Culture
The overall public opinion of cannabis, known in South Korea as daemacho or ddul, is unfavorable.
Since the government has put marijuana in the same category as hard drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine, many Korean citizens believe it is just as dangerous. A 2009 survey found that only 0.36% of South Korea’s adult population reported ever having used drugs of any sort.
South Korea’s Increasing Cannabis Use
However, a growing number of Korean citizens are warming up to the idea that cannabis isn’t so dangerous after all, and rates of recreational use are rising.
The illegal import of marijuana has also been steadily increasing, particularly as cannabis becomes legal and easier to obtain in many other parts of the world.
These trends have naturally led to an increase in marijuana-related arrests. In 2017, South Korean law enforcement arrested 1,044 people on cannabis-related charges – a 49% increase from 2014.
Tourists and ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers from the U.S. and Canada are among those often arrested for cannabis use. Sometimes these offenders are simply and quickly deported, but being fined and detained is always a possibility.
Black Market Cannabis is Easy (But Risky) to Find in South Korea
It’s actually relatively easy to find and purchase weed in South Korea.
Many overseas-based websites advertise marijuana delivery anywhere in South Korea within one hour. In some popular nightlife spots in Seoul (such as the Hong-Dea Club Street), you may be able to buy weed or hash on the street.
Many of these street dealers are Canadian and African visitors hanging out at hookah bars or reggae cafes. The quality of cannabis available from these illicit sources is often low, and the prices average 35,500 – 59,200 won ($30 – $50 USD) per gram.
South Korean Celebrities Arrested for Marijuana Use
Celebrity status does not put you above the law in South Korea. In recent years, cannabis use has led to the arrest and disgrace of a number of famous South Korean musicians.
In 2010, Korean rapper Kim Kye-Hoon (known by the stage name Crown J) served 8 months in prison for smoking weed while recording an album in the United States.
Actor Yoo Ah-in famous for his role in the 2018 film “Burning” and Netflix TV series “Hellbound,” has recently been under investigation after a purchase at a pharmacy. The suspicious trip to the drug store resulted in a drug test, which he failed for marijuana and cocaine, and his house getting raided. He could be charged with a crime for simply consuming illegal substances. Furthermore, the actor has experienced a dramatic fall from grace in the eye of the public. He is currently banned from leaving the country.
Other notable Korean musicians caught using cannabis include Psy and T.O.P. (a member of the band Big Bang).
In addition to fines and prison sentences ranging from 25 days to 10 months, these celebrities faced considerable career backlash. Bans on performing following a cannabis-related arrest average 40 months and can significantly derail Korean entertainers’ careers and popularity with fans.
The Future of Cannabis and Cannabis Seeds in South Korea
The movement to break the negative stigma against using weed and growing cannabis seeds in South Korea still has a long way to go.
While social and legal approval of recreational marijuana is unlikely in the near future, the recent legalization of medical cannabis products is a monumental step in the right direction for South Korea and East Asia as a whole.
At the very least, many Koreans may soon soften their opinions on marijuana as they can now see its remarkable medicinal effect firsthand.
However, if you’re ready to buy and grow cannabis seeds, head over to one of our recommended seed banks to find the best seed strains to grow in South Korea!
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