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The Self-Employed Stoner – The ‘Seedy’ Side of Cannabis



seed sales side hustle

This is the third installment of “The Self Employed Stoner” where we take a closer look at money-making opportunities for the cannabis-friendly population in this world. This particular self-employment opportunity became a viable option for those who can legally grow cannabis at home.


Of course, this isn’t something “new” but I think that those who would like to work within the cannabis industry can use the latest DEA declaration. The “DEA Says Marijuana Seeds Are Considered Legal Hemp As Long As They Don’t Exceed THC Limit” as was reported in Marijuana Moment.


“Accordingly, marihuana seed that has a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis meets the definition of ‘hemp’ and thus is not controlled under the CSA,” Terrence L. Boos, chief of DEA”s Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section wrote in the letter, dated January 6. “Conversely, marihuana seed having a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis is controlled in schedule I under the CSA as marihuana.”


In essence, this means that the DEA conceded that any cannabis seed is essentially “hemp” and can technically be sold to other states and people. The important loophole to remember is to place a card in the seed stash that reads, “Not meant to be planted” as it’s still illegal to use cannabis seeds with the intent of growing it (federally speaking)


Yes, the rules are idiotic…I don’t make them up.


“In my view, the letter is significant because we continue to see confusion over the source rule—the argument that the legal status of a cannabis product hinges on whether it is ‘sourced’ from marijuana or hemp—influencing legislative proposals even at the federal level,” Shane Pennington, the attorney that inquired over the legal status of seeds, told Marijuana Moment.


Basically, there is now a clear cut distinction and seeds only need to adhere to the 0.3% THC to be considered hemp. Furthermore, the letter from the DEA said;


“…other material that is derived or extracted from the cannabis plant such as tissue culture and any other genetic material that has a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis meets the definition of “hemp” and thus is not controlled under the CSA.”


In other words, you can make products from the cannabis plant itself and sell those as well. This might be a potential “side-earner” for large grow operations. Instead of simply discarding the cannabis plants, you could dry the plants and turn them into pulp, or make rope, or utilize the roots for a myriad of “hemp” products.


You simply need to ensure that no residue from the cannabis plants pass onto the hemp products. However, most people won’t run a THC test on some rope or twine…but this could become an additional revenue stream.


Nonetheless, if someone figures out how to maximize and upcycle the waste produced by large commercial cannabis grows – there’s some serious money to be made.


However, in today’s “Self Employed Stoner” we’re not looking at upcycling cannabis waste, we’re taking a closer look at how you can start your own seed selling business utilizing a few plants and a moderate set up.


Hell, you could even work together with a few independent growers to build out a robust profile of available seeds…


Before I continue however, I think it’s important to note that making any business isn’t easy and you won’t just “make money” as easily as you think. To build a seed bank you’ll need to learn how to master the art of growing cannabis, how to cross breed, how to create feminized seeds, and after all that – how to “out-market” the competition.


However, if you have a deep seated passion for working in the cannabis industry this is one way you can forge your own path. You don’t need a big set up to produce a lot of seeds, you just need to know how to properly isolate your plants, maximize genetic characteristics and play God with your breeds.


Time Frame


To get your first batch of seeds it will take you roughly 3-5 months and depending on how well you grew the plant, this could be a lot of seeds. For example, if you bushed out your plants and increased the opportunity for more seeds, you’re maximizing return per light source.


Nonetheless, the plant will have to go through its natural cycles, however, unlike with growing for consumption – growing for seeds have different objectives.




When you’re growing for consumption, you’re looking to boost volume, cannabinoid diversity, and trichome density as some of your more important metrics. However, when you’re growing for selling seeds, you’re going to try to get the maximum yield of seeds per plant you possibly can. The seedier the better.


Not all seeds are created equal, so there will be some seeds that simply will not be viable for sale. This is why volume is key. Fortunately, this isn’t too difficult.


First, you’ll need to have pollen from your desired strain and the evenly spread it over a flowering plant at various stages of the flowering cycle. There’s simply not enough space in this article to go into that master class, but there are plenty of tutorials available online…




While there isn’t a lot of data on seed sales, and return on investment we can make some basic calculations on gross profits, which then would have to be deducted with operational costs.


For now, we’ll take Canada’s weed market as a point of reference, the numbers might be different in different parts of the US you find yourself.


Here’s a snippet from an article in Global News


The OCS is selling a four-pack for $60 and the BCCS for $55.99, which works out to about $14-15 per seed.


The price per seed is quite competitive with Canadian grey market sites, where feminized (guaranteed female) seeds are closer to $18, and can be as high as $30. (The grey-market selection, however, tends to be far better, at least so far.)


They had a stock of 500 4-seed packs, which sold out in a week. This shows you that there is definitely an interest in the market for quality seeds.


But what’s the average yield of seeds per cannabis plant?


While it’s difficult to say and depending on the amount of pollen used, the density of the buds and the propensity of the plant – you can expect anywhere from as little as 50 seeds per plant, all the way to over a thousand.


Obviously, if you’re going to be producing seeds for sale – you’re going to try to maximize your seed production. However, as a conservative estimate, let’s say you only manage to produce 250 seeds per plant. That would make roughly 62 4-packs which retails at about $60 CAD or $48 USD totally a potential value of $3,000 per plant if you manage to sell it all.


Even if you can only grow up to six plants, we’re talking about $18,000 worth of seeds within each grow cycle. Depending on your costs, we could say that anywhere between $8,000-$10,000 could be deducted leaving you between $8k-$10k profit margin.


Not too bad for a home operation. The beauty of this cannabusiness is that if you increase seed yield, your costs of operations don’t increase – meaning you’ve got more potential for high ROI.


Bottom Line


As mentioned, this won’t be easy – but hopefully if you’re called to splicing cannabis breeds together…this article inspired you to take a leap and become a “Self Employed Stoner”.








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Edible Arrangements v. Green Thumb Industries: Voluntary Dismissal, For Now




We regularly cover intellectual property disputes on the blog, and the Edible Arrangements v. Green Thumb Industries trademark infringement case is one we covered two years ago when filed. Since then, this case appears to have been moderately active, with the parties engaging in the usual discovery and related motion practice.

However, things did take a surprising turn when late last week, Edible Arrangements filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the case without prejudice (or in the alternative, to amend its complaint) due to “[t]he fast-shifting economic and legal landscape” of cannabis. Dismissing a case without prejudice means Edible Arrangements could revive it at a later point in time.

Recap of Edible Arrangements’ trademark infringement allegations

Edible Arrangements writes that it pursued this case upon passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which of course paved the way for the CBD market to open. It was also interested in selling CBD products, so it began to develop and market them under their brand “Incredible Edibles.”

Edible Arrangements then became aware of Green Thumb’s own marijuana product line, the “Incredibles.” To be clear, the Incredibles included Delta-9 THC, which doesn’t derive from hemp and remains federally illegal. So, despite the fact that the underlying products were legally distinct under federal law, Edible Arrangements filed the lawsuit to protect its trademarks against Green Thumb (who cannot have federal trademark protections because its own products remain federally illegal).

Why Edible Arrangements seeks to voluntarily dismiss, for now

While some believe necessary change has been painfully slow to occur, Edible Arrangements believes that the change in regulatory and legal landscape relating to marijuana has changed “dramatically” and continued change could render any outcome of the lawsuit moot:

In short, the pattern that is emerging is that, while makers of cannabis products that are federally-legal do have protectible trademark rights, the question of whether makers of products that, though similar in other respects, involve federally-illegal cannabis are infringing on those protectible marks is less clear cut.

Specifically, Edible Arrangements makes the (valid) point that in some markets, the legal status of Incredible Edibles versus the illegal status of Incredibles (by Green Thumb) could make a significant difference in where they’re sold– regular stores versus dispensaries only. However, Green Thumb recently announced that it reached a deal with Circle K to sell its marijuana products for medical use in certain Florida gas stations (which is still awaiting regulatory approval). As big industry players continue to push an effort to normalize marijuana “by integrating it with regular consumer products,” one thing is clear: the joining marketing channels and resulting likelihood of confusion will likely grow and bolster trademark infringement claims between hemp and marijuana products:

“Thus, while the Court undoubtedly could adjudicate the question of the likelihood of confusion as it exists right now, and could even do so with an eye towards the ‘convergent marketing channels,’ such a determination may not be sufficient to address the future state of this rapidly changing market and could be mooted by any number of events. Thus, the better course is to set this case aside, without prejudice, and let the parties return—or not—once the market dynamics have more fully run their course.”

What’s next in this unusual trademark infringement case

We’ll continue to monitor the docket for any response from Green Thumb and, of course, any final order of the Court. But it does seem clear that other plaintiffs will likely follow suit and wait for a time when their trademark infringement claims are bolstered – such as if marijuana continues to seep into the general marketplace or is one day legalized altogether – and everyone seeks to establish their brands over all their competitors.

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Tainted Cannabis – New Speak for Unregulated Cannabis




tainted cannabis


Have you tried some of that “tainted cannabis”?


Sounds scary right?


Well, a new study claims that “tainted pot” might be the next thing you should be worried about!


There are “likely tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses” currently operating out of bodegas, smoke shops and other storefronts in New York City — with many of the pop-up shops selling bad or dangerously tainted weed, a new study reveals.


Yes, you read that correctly “Tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses”.


Before legalization we called them our “dealers” but since it’s legal now they shall be referred to as “businesses”. Nonetheless, they are selling “dangerously tainted weed”.


But what is tainted weed? Is it doused in something? Too much fertilizer? Not properly flushed?


In this article we’re going to be talking about the rise of “tainted pot” and how this type of “newspeak” is actually lingo used in Prohibition 2.0.


So tell me more about this study…


If you want a direct access to the Study, you can find it here.


In order to understand what the study considered “tainted” we take a look at the “overview section” where it states;


Results revealed the presence of several harmful contaminants, such as E. coli, pesticides, heavy metals, and salmonella in 40 percent of the illegal products purchased, including vapes. Many of the products tested did not contain the amount of THC advertised on the label and in one case, featured double the amount of listed THC. After reviewing the items under the state’s proposed branding regulations, 100 percent of the products failed.


In other words, tainted pot had instances of contaminants, heavy metals, and the THC levels weren’t accurately labeled or double the permitted allowance.


Yet according to the FDA Handbook on Contaminants in our food;


According to the FDA, it is “economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects”.



 The word defect actually refers to “minimal amounts of rodent feces, maggots, insect fragments, animal and human hairs, parasitic cysts, and rot!


For example, foods like canned fruit, cornmeal, and chocolate are allowed whole insects, insect parts and insect larvae.

Most fruit are allowed to have bugs in them, as long as they don’t cause the fruit to rot and tomato products like pizza sauce are allowed to contain up to 30 fruit fly eggs are allowed per 100 grams.



This would NOT be considered “tainted” but would be sold to you for yummy digestion later. Therefore when you read a report that talks about the presence of e.Coli, heavy metals, etc – just know that you’re already tolerating it and have probably eaten several insects over the span of your life.


Klaus Schwabb would be proud!


Here’s a snapshot of the FDA’s table of Defects;

fda food table



Now back to the Study about the Tainted Pot!


In their report, the study authors explained that by keeping these illicit shops open, you would cause a real danger to the public.


Allowing these unregulated, illicit operations to continue operating with impunity will only exacerbate an already alarming public health trend especially among teens and young adults who either are unaware of or choose to ignore the health risks. Sellers providing illicit and potentially dangerous products, which are easily and readily available in the gray market, risk consumer safety and threaten public confidence in the adult-use industry before it even begins.

As you can see, the wording is calling for a crack-down on these illicit spots because “safety”. However, prior to legalization all of these places were operating already. In fact, it’s the license dispensaries that are coming “late” to the party.


Independent dealers, for the most part – try to sell good weed. The fact that there are certain contaminants on the plants or that there is “too much THC” in the weed are just the “defects” the FDA permits.


Everyone knows that when you buy weed from the dude down the street, it’s not going to be tested for these things. However, since you’ve been buying from him for years and nothing bad has ever happened to you – a bit of eColi couldn’t hurt!


It seems that the Mayo Clinic Agrees!


Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

You may be exposed to E. coli from contaminated water or food — especially raw vegetables and undercooked ground beef. Healthy adults usually recover from infection with E. coli O157:H7 within a week. Young children and older adults have a greater risk of developing a life-threatening form of kidney failure.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic


Unless you’re eating an edible with E. coli, then you’re probably not in any real danger from contracting it. Especially if you’re going to light the plant on fire and smoke it.


However, I think one of the bigger concerns for the study authors is the “high THC count” and the “undermining of the legal system”.


In addition to presenting a public health crisis, these illicit dispensaries also serve to weaken and potentially debilitate the first round of licensed cannabis retailers by undercutting the consumer market through the avoidance of taxes, testing requirements, accounting measures, brick-and-mortar storefronts, and other legally required start-up costs. In addition, the illicit dispensaries easily confuse cannabis consumers, who are often unable to distinguish between illicit operations and legal adult-use stores.


And here’s the real kicker! This is all about the integrity of the legal market. However, the legal market has a cap on licenses – meaning that these “illegal” shops are creating competition to these legal entities. These legal dispensaries had to pay enormous start up fees, licenses, and need to test their weed.


Whereas these illicit shops can just grow and sell, without having to pay taxes or deal with regulatory hurdles. The only risk they incur is the risk of being arrested and jailed. Other than that, it’s just business as usual.


This is a major problem for the legal cannabis industry – or at least, the version of legal cannabis we see today!


The Major Problem with Modern Legalization


I think it’s incredibly important to not get lost in the fog of cannabis legalization and forget the system we’re exiting. Prior to legalization, society responded to any kind of cannabis-related activities with brute force.


The government actively hunted cannabis users and then imprisoned them, turning them into “state owned property”. While not directly forced to work – most inmates will tell you that “getting a job is a way to pass the time…something to do…”


In many cases the State only pays cents per hour for manual labor which is justified because the person “violated the law” thereby forgoing their rights. Except, in this case – the law is ridiculous or a “non-law” as Abraham Lincoln would call it.


It’s a law designed to make an activity that doesn’t cause harm to any “other person”, yet is deemed as “highly illegal” and as a result a direct path to “forced indentured servitude”.


While this “grift” worked for a while, the human toll was getting to high and it became inevitable for “legalization” to happen. Utilizing the same mechanism of oppression, legalization activists focused on the disproportionate execution of the law.


Eventually, the will of the people became the loudest voice in the room, and the government is forced to legalize – however, under “their terms”.


Now, within a regulated market – any dispensary, grower, cannabis enthusiast – is considered a “bad player” because they aren’t utilizing “legal avenues”.


They begin to use words like “tainted pot” and “public health crises”, and once more implement the power of law enforcement to “weed out these bad players”.


And once again, we find ourselves back into a system of oppression – a system where “few benefit” and the “many are forced to comply”.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for legal cannabis – however, in the case of certain markets with a high threshold of regulation, caps on licenses, limits on personal growth, consumption and purchase limits, etc – it begins to stink of Prohibition.


Cannabis is about human rights


People often ask me why I am so passionate about cannabis and there is a very simple reason – it’s a human right. In fact, it’s one of the “sacred human rights” up there with the “right to speak your mind”.


For me, despite the fact that cannabis in its own right is a beautiful plant that is insanely unique and complicated, yet fantastically simple and elegant – the fact that there are “laws against it” is the major problem.


You see – cannabis is a plant that grows naturally on planet earth. Nobody created cannabis, it’s not a product, and it certainly doesn’t belong to any company. You are a human from the planet earth. You, like the cannabis plant is a product of millions of years of evolution and before the existence of any one of these governments – you and this plant coexisted.


It’s the most plausible reason why phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids are so similar. We coevolved with this plant over millions of years.


In this case, cannabis is a human right. But even to a more pragmatic reason – you own your body. You are the alpha and omega of your being and for another entity – aka the government – to create laws prohibiting you from utilizing any earthly resource that is readily available to your advantage – well, that’s the real crime!


When it comes to your own body – you should always have the final say. Irrespective of “laws”, when it comes to what you put into your mouth – it is just as important as having the ability to whatever it is you want coming out of the mouth.


Modern Legalization Limits your Freedom


Unless you live in a state that allows for gifting, home growing, small scale selling, etc – most legal schemes rely on “licensed dispensaries” to service the public. However, these dispensaries have follow strict regulatory practices, increasing the cost of production. Not to mention, they have to get expensive licenses, which are only available in limited capacity.  Couple this with the inability to use modern banking and you’ve got yourself a recipe for elitism.


You can check it out in their conclusion;


Thousands of New Yorkers spent years fighting for a solid and successful adult use cannabis market. Just as the Empire State is poised to achieve that significant goal, new illicit operators have sprung up, latching on to the coattails of the respected pre-existing legacy market and threatening both public health and safety and the long-term success of legal operators, particularly CAURD licensees who will launch first in the nascent adult-use industry. These bad actors present a clear danger that could undermine both the budding industry and the health of New York residents and visitors.


As you can see, “thousands of New Yorkers” spent “years fighting” for a  blah blah blah….what the report fails to mention is the “legacy dealers” who were dealing way before legalization was even on the books.


These people couldn’t simply “pick up a license” and pivot to the legal marketplace due to scarcity of cannabis licensing. These people are part of these “bad actors” the report is talking about. These people have been servicing the cannabis community for decades while being hunted by law enforcement.


Prohibition 2.0 waves a cannabis flag while putting any “illicit competition” out of business by using the police as a weapon. This is not what cannabis legalization activists fought for.


We fought for EVERYONE’S RIGHTS to engage with cannabis…and under the current legalization schemes – this is not happening.


I’ve written about the only real solution to this problem before – you can read about this here!

The only question the “legal cannabis industry” should be asking itself is the following;


“Why would consumers prefer to risk their health and buy cannabis from “legacy dealers” as opposed to buying it from licensed dispensaries?”


Until they are ready to have THAT conversation – then legalization smells a lot like prohibition. 





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Does Cannabis Go Bad? – Colorado Approves ‘Use-By’ Dates on Marijuana Products?




does weed go bad

The state of Colorado has made some significant moves recently that can signal a new regime for the cannabis industry. Colorado has always been a leading state when it comes to cannabis and it looks set to continue that trend in 2023. The state is set to usher in a new set of rules for the cannabis industry which includes the ability to redesignate medical cannabis to adult-use cannabis. Read on as we explore the nitty-gritty of these new sets of rules and how they will affect the cannabis industry at large.

Some new sets of rules have recently been approved by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) for the cannabis industry in the state. The new sets of rules became effective on December 1 but some will not see full implementation until 2023 and 2024. Two of the new rules have certainly caught the eyes of most in the cannabis industry since they were approved. The first is the rule that grants the ability for medical cannabis to be redesignated for adult use which is set to commence in 2023. The other is the rule that requires use-by dates and storage conditions for cannabis products which are set to be implemented by 2024.

These new sets of rules are mostly byproducts of enacted legislation in the state. The adoption follows the strenuous string of engagements the division has had with different stakeholders. The division operates off the state’s Department of Revenue and has been tasked with such responsibilities over time. The MED has always been faced with different important topics around the cannabis industry in the state and this year was no different. The rulemaking process of the division is dependent on established laws within the state but the division still engages stakeholders before rolling out its rules.

Dominique Mendiola, a Senior Director at MED in a news release spoke about the importance of the collaboration between MED and stakeholders in the industry. He states that this collaboration is what makes the rulemaking process effective for the good of the industry. According to him, the engagements give the division a chance to receive significant contributions from its team and members of the public. Mendiola says that these engagements are pivotal for the division’s moves in updating existing rules and processes and as such the division doesn’t take it for granted.


The new rule that has got everyone talking among the new sets of rules by the MED is the redesignation rule. The rule is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and it will allow medical cannabis facilities to transfer medical cannabis to adult-use cannabis cultivation facilities. The facility can also transfer cannabis to an accelerator cultivator so that the product’s designation can be changed to its intended use. The rule is a product of Senate Bill 22-178 which explains that an adult-use cultivation facility is important for payment of excise tax on transferred cannabis.

The rule is also linked to the legislation of 2021 which stated that a licensee can change the designation of adult-use cannabis to medical cannabis. This conversion is only applicable under special circumstances as stated by the legislation and cannabis companies will start benefiting come January 2023.

The state of Colorado following the rule by the MED will also allow all cannabis products in the state to be labelled based on storage conditions and use-by dates. This will take effect in January 2024 and must be fulfilled before any cannabis can be sold to a patient or adult aged 21 and above. The new rules mean that additional responsibilities will be placed on the licensees. They will be required to determine the shelf stability of their products in order to establish correct use-by dates. In a situation where a licensee chooses not to carry out testing, a standard 9-month use-by date will apply.

The MED explained in a release the standard procedure to follow with respect to use-by-date products. In instances where the use-by date has expired and the regulated marijuana store wishes to sell the products to the consumer, they are permitted. This applies provided the licensee informs the consumer or patient about the use-by date expiration on the product. The new rule will be applied to products intended for inhalation such as flowers and prerolls. Use-by-date labelling is already standard for edibles and other consumable cannabis products.

There were other significant rule changes based on different House bills that are set to take effect by Dec 1 2022. One such is the requirement for marijuana-responsible vendor designations to live with both the individual and business seeking to maintain the designation. The designation changes with an employee if the employee moves on to another business. House Bill 22-1135 has also prompted allowance for marijuana transport licensees to transfer the license to new or additional owners. An extension has also been added to the time for finding suitable social equity programs for licensees from one year to two years.

There were also amendments to existing rules for increasing worker safety under certain manufacturing processes. This includes the use of gloves, goggles, and respirators for some workers. There is also a requirement for an increase in internal security controls which will help to curb the increase in attempted burglaries at licensed cannabis businesses. Licensees will be required to provide improved security controls and will be assisted with a security plan to prepare and mitigate burglaries.

There are certainly interesting days ahead for the cannabis industry in the state of Colorado. The new sets of rules have been arranged in such a way that they will assist both the licensee and the customer to get the best out of the system. For the rules set to take effect in 2023, only time will tell how effective they will be in the grand scheme of things. 





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