The cannabis seeds market (not including products derived from them) is expected to grow exponentially over the next seven years to USD $35 billion.
With marijuana legalization efforts on the rise, there is an increasing demand from growers to have access to a variety of desired strains of cannabis seeds. Cannabis cultivators need a reliable supplier of desired seed strains, or a seed bank, in order to be successful in their business of growing and selling either cannabis flowers or even the seeds themselves.
Because of its adjacent industrial status, it remains a massively unregulated market, giving rise to the opportunity for entrepreneurs to partake in a free enterprise.
In times past, one would have to search out desired cultivars by going to well-established and world-renown seedbanks such as are located in the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. Currently, however, there are several hundreds of privately-owned online seed banks, and they’re keep springing up like mushrooms after the rain. This mitigates a lot of the regulatory issues that growers would otherwise face dealing with Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies while bringing the seeds across state or national borders.
According CNBS, one of the main reasons for the proliferation of these online seed banks is the ease of launching a website to market, showcase, and sell highly sought after seed strains. Because of the ability for anyone to sell cannabis seeds, this opens up an opportunity for a free market in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between hundreds, if not thousands of privately owned businesses.
The cannabis seeds industry is a great example of unregulated market that works just fine. Not only the selection is just endless – the quality is top notch and the prices are relatively low. This is what happens when you let the free market do its job – the customer wins. If (and when) the government will decide to regulate this market, you can rest assured the prices will skyrocket, the quality will drop like a stone, and the selection will get much narrower as many seed banks will just choose to close down instead of dealing with the government – which is always a huge headache.
As for the seeds themselves, a packet of a dozen cannabis seeds purchased from an online seed bank can range in price from $40-$500 depending on the quality of the strain. Variety in strain is important to this market because different strains allow for different applications of what the seeds will be potentially used for, which is especially important when dealing with medical customers.
Another main reason this market is very hard to regulate is patents can be held on a genetically or physically unique strain for twenty years, making access to the more sought-after strain exclusive and expensive. But one of the greatest benefits in this industry is you can’t really enforce a trademark on any specific strain, as it will get cloned and you have nothing to do about it. High-quality strains such as award-winning cultivars are instantly cloned by other seed breeders, which is increasing its availability and potentially lowering the price. This allows for a truly free market and greater competition between businesses as consumers decide where to buy their seeds. This is also one of the reasons the selection is so big – as breeders just keep breeding their competitors’ genetics and creating endless stream of new strains.