Breeding Distinct Industrial Hemp Varieties for the 21st Century – Seth Crawford, Ph.D.

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Industrial scale production of non-psychoactive cannabinoids began in earnest in the US in 2015 under Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill. Seed for planting was initially scarce due to DEA prohibitions on importation and a lack of natively developed cultivars. Our company began identifying specific breeding strategies to produce agronomically advanced cultivars of hybrid cannabis that still remain federally compliant as “industrial hemp”. Since 2016, these breeding programs have led to the creation of the first (a) high content type III (CBD) day neutral varieties (“autoflowering”), (b) predictably “early” flowering type III photoperiod varieties, (c) high content type IV (CBG) dominant day neutral varieties, and (d) predictably “early” flowering type IV photoperiod varieties. In each circumstance, the varieties developed are 100% female (verified using Medicinal Genomics’ youPCR colorimetric screen), with only 1 in 4000 plants sporting a male phenotype in the field. In 2018, our seed was used to plant over 4000 acres across the US. Our most recent experimental results demonstrate that pure type IV (CBG) varieties can produce CBG to THC ratios of over 300:1, which enables raw oil extractions below the federal 0.3% THC requirement.