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Cannabis DNA mapping could lead to more consistent “highs”

| | September 24, 2014

Nine months ago, Mowgli Holmes, 42, started Phylos Bioscience in Southwest Portland with entrepreneur Nishan Karassik, 44, with the aim of using cannabis DNA to untangle the genetic makeup of as many marijuana strains as they can find.

Their ultimate goals: to certify marijuana strains so consumers know what they’re getting and to provide pot growers with a kind of “stud book” of strain genetics to help guide their breeding.

But cannabis genetics remains a largely untapped field, said Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. She said marijuana genetics overlaps with intellectual property and U.S. patent issues, areas complicated by the federal prohibition on the drug.

Their work is the latest example of scientists getting into the business of pot. So far they’ve focused mostly on lab testing for things such as potency and pesticides — a requirement in places like Colorado and Washington, the only two states with legal recreational marijuana programs, and Oregon, one of 23 states that allow medical marijuana use. An initiative on Oregon’s November ballot also would legalize the drug here.

In California, lab testing isn’t required, but consumer demand for lab-tested pot has spawned an industry. Scientists, too, have gotten involved in helping marijuana companies fine-tune extraction methods to meet the growing market for potent cannabis concentrates.

But cannabis genetics remains a largely untapped field, said Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. She said marijuana genetics overlaps with intellectual property and U.S. patent issues, areas complicated by the federal prohibition on the drug.

The way Holmes sees it, identifying a strain’s particular genetic makeup is a major step toward being able to assure strain-fixated marijuana consumers that what they’re smoking is what they were told it was. Genetics, too, can help growers breed with more precision.

“Our biggest project really is to solve the question of consistency in this industry. There is no reassurance that if you’re a Sour Diesel fan, that you could go into a dispensary and get Sour Diesel. It’ll say Sour Diesel, but it will be something totally random.”


Read full, original article:
Is that Sour Diesel in your bong the real thing? Portland scientist sets out to map marijuana DNA and find out

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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