Unfortunately, acquiring seeds legally in the U.S. is difficult. A low key and cost effective way is to get them from fellow growers. This means that not only will you stay under the radar, but you’re using a trusted source. No surprises about growth periods, harvesting, etc.
If you’re the only grower you know you can buy seeds from a dealer. If you’re new to the growing community it might be hard to make inroads and quality will always be a question (until you find a dealer you trust).
The final option is to use a seed bank. There are quite a few online, mostly based in Canada and the Netherlands. The Dutch don’t often ship to the U.S. because it’s illegal. But those seed banks will always use discrete packaging so the risk is low. If you’re ever planning trips to countries with seed banks, you can research ahead of time and plan to stock up.
Part of the fun of being a beginner is that you can explore strains to find what you like best. Most growers have strains that they swear by. Whether you’re seeking indica dominant or sativa dominant hybrids, it’s essential to get seeds that match the user experience you’re looking for.
You’re looking for mature seeds with dark brown coloring. Look for swirling or marbling patterns as these are the most likely to germinate and thrive. Immature seeds will be pale green and were likely cultivated too early. You can always give these a try, but keep your expectations low.
After your first fully grown crop, you can harvest your own seeds or start cloning from your best plants and cut out the step of searching for a quality source.
Or… cut out all the work and just start with clones. 🙂