Lophophora sp. in the US

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Crassulacean
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Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by Crassulacean » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:31 am

I find lophophoras to be some of the most aesthetically pleasing species but am concerned about cultivation of even non-williamsii species in the US. I particularly like Alberto vojtechii (so cute!) but you cant get those seeds domestically.

I have only heard of two three arrests in the US within the past 20 years only williamsii, one erratic driver with 20 plants in the trunk, one fringe NAC member growing thousands of plants, and one chance find during an unrelated drug raid. Can anyone else share experiences? Are other species totally OK outside of California? Williamsii seems to be a not unpopular species among collectors.

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Vanzily
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Re: Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by Vanzily » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:10 am

I heard by someone, even the williamsi and diffusa are illegal on California, I dont know on other States and could be very possible all the genre be illegal on a few, illegal or not the other species, is better keep them not very exposed to see by others to avoid any issues, for that reason I never find someone who sell as "legal" and "openly" lophophora plants

Altough most of them are growing williamsi very well covered, and I dont think should be a problem if you grow them only as ornamental. The alberto as is a new species, is still very difficult to find seeds. I suggest you to look with the people and check if someone have to sell or trade

Fatich
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Re: Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by Fatich » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:49 am

I know someone who sells alberto-vojtechii seeds (a european seller) if you want you can pm me.

DaveW
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Re: Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by DaveW » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:02 am

Thankfully Lophophora's are legal in the UK and our authorities are fairly relaxed about them since their misuse has never been a problem here, they are probably too expensive to chew anyway! Even some of the commonly used grafting stocks and other cacti contain as many alkaloids as they do. We can even grow Opium Poppies as ornamentals in our gardens here, presumably our climate is not considered conducive for opium production. No doubt the authorities would obviously go after people who misused them or to produce drugs, however Cannabis growing is their main target.

Malej Jarda can supply most Lophophora species as seeds. I got my L. alberto-vojtechii plants from there, but I am within the EU so you would only be able to buy seed from outside the EU. they are often a bit slow to deal with orders though.

http://www.gerardo.cz/en/199-lophophora

Lophophora alberto-vojtechii, the smallest species of Lophophora, a 1 inch plant = 2.5cm is full grown in habitat. (coin is 3/4 inch diameter = 2cm)
L-alberto-vojtechii.jpg
L-alberto-vojtechii.jpg (97.75 KiB) Viewed 180 times

Crassulacean
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Re: Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by Crassulacean » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:39 pm

AFAIK only California bans the entire genus. Federal law only prohibits L. williamsii but with the current taxonomic ambiguity of the genus (only diffusa and williamsii are acknowledged) it is really difficult to know if something marketed as fricii, or decipiens, or koehresii is ok.

Although P. somniferum is technically verboten it is also the species used for edible poppy seeds and is so common as an ornamental that even burpee sells the seeds in big box garden stores. I think part of the reason no enforcement exists is that unlike cannabis it takes absolutely massive fields to yield any reasonable amount of material so it would not really be worth it.

I suspect we don't hear about legal problems with Trichocereus and Lophophoras for the same reason. The former are so common in cultivation that enforcement is impossible and the only people who would bother with the slow growth of the latter are collectors who would never eat them. Why spend the money tracking them down when we have tens of thousands being killed by opioid abuse each year?

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TimN
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Re: Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by TimN » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:44 pm

I've grown L. williamsii in the US for 10 years or so without problems (AZ). I don't advertise that fact, generally. I'm not sure how many police officers would recognize the plant, tbh.

I bought my plants mail order from Portugal, as I recall.

I've sold them on ebay, given them away, etc without problems. I've never had anyone state that their intent was to eat the plants I've sold/given away.

All that said, when I knew a policeman was coming to seem my plants, I put them around the back where they weren't obvious.

Besides, there are far more pleasant things to scratch your itch, if that's your inclination.
Disclaimer: I'm in sunny Arizona, so any advice I give may not apply in your circumstances.

Tim

Crassulacean
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Re: Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by Crassulacean » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:37 pm

Wow you got whole plants through customs? I'm assuming seeds would be no problem then, seems to be a lot of central and Eastern European suppliers.

DaveW
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Re: Lophophora sp. in the US

Post by DaveW » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:36 pm

The problem is not that the police would not recognise the plant, but if they did would they be able to tell the different species apart?

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