The federal government’s restrictions on cannabis have hindered American scientists from studying it in depth. However states that legalized weed on their own are not just “laboratories of democracy,” as Hillary Clinton called them, but also actual laboratories of cannabis research.
A number of private cannabis testing labs in marijuana-legal states have taken on projects and clients, with the ultimate goal of documenting strains, fostering greater reliability and predictability in cultivation practices, and for some, getting to the bottom of the largely unknown genetics of cannabis. But while each of these private labs has made strides in their own right, a lack of collective communication among them has fostered something of a ‘space race’ — an unspoken contest to learn the most possible about the cannabis plant.
The so-called “space race,” says [Dr. Jeff Raber, CEO of an L.A.-based testing lab called the Werc Shop, and spokesperson for the Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories (ACCL)], is mainly about nailing down which composition of the cannabis plant is right for which patient…With the help of testing labs, cannabis breeders need to understand the relationship between genotype, phenotype, cultivation practices, and plant applications in order to grow the best possible cannabis for consumers’ specific needs.
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