Who’s Turning Cannabis Into a GMO?

Article by Travis Cesarone, Cannabis Life Network


Supply shortages, quality issues, and opaque production practices are all areas in desperate need of improvement in Canada’s cannabis industry, and some see turning cannabis into a GMO as the answer to these problems.

More than a few conglomerate Licensed Producers (LPs) have assured us they are capable of fulfilling our national demand which apparently meant resorting to drastic measures, like genetically modifying cannabis with Bayer Crop Sciences.

But is this a truly sustainable answer? Or, will this just be a slap in the face to growers with soil ingrained into their fingerprints?

More Sunlight Under a Canopy

In front of a leadership shiftCanopy Growth‘s investment firm, Canopy Rivers, has now partnered with Zeakal. Their project will develop Seeds that can propagate cannabis with far greater photosynthesic capabilities. This means less light needed for the same amount of flower, boosting crop yield while plummeting production costs.

What does Zeakal actually do?

We think ‘genetic engineering‘ and GMO’s when we hear these stories. Zeakal‘s processes do indeed involve gene technology,

“…creating a new pathway with just two genes that builds on the plant’s natural biochemistry…”

In between Peace Naturals and Bayer Crop Sciences

Peace Naturals’ parent company, Cronos Group, openly admits to genetically engineering cannabis as well. This project is through Ginkgo Bioworks, a group of eccentric geneticists headed by former MIT scientist, Tom Knight. No, not the pesticide company Bioworks Inc, the two have no proven connection.

Being backed by Bill GatesGinkgo Bioworks does have many partners though. Let’s not forget about their venture with Bayer Crop Sciences, Joyn Bio. Joyn Bio was formed in April 2018. It was only six months later, just shy of cannabis legalization, that Cronos then joined with Ginkgo Bioworks. Perhaps given their initial success in stock markets, turning cannabis into a GMO has been the answer – for profit. Playing God with cannabis would normally deter many consumers, so Cronos Group’s sales history really set the severity of Canada’s supply issues.

More GMOs dominating the Stock Market

Severity has been set within yet another companies success story. Despite a ‘production mishap’ that caused some patients to be poisoned by banned pesticidesOrganigram is competing well.

What is the secret to their competence? Is it their supposedly ‘low prices,’ a steady supply, or plans for new rooms? The source of their capabilities is a mystery, but they have been carrying a joint project of their own. Organigram has been genetically engineering cannabis with Hyasynth Biologicals Inc since May of 2018.

Test-tube cannabinoids with Organigram and Cronos Group

More than photosynthesis, the plant can be modified to produce different terpenes or cannabinoids. Maximum THC or CBD levels can be forced, or minor cannabinoids, like cannabigerol (aka CBG), can be demanded from artificial strains. More can be done to manipulate nature, though.

Even more alarming, cannabis could become completely obsolete in the space-aged future. Organigram is working with Hyasynth Biologicals to produce cannabinoids from genetically hijacked yeast. Cannabinoids they indeed identify as organic. A project Cronos Group has been working on since they partnered with Ginkgo Bioworks.

Read the full article here.

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