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Genome BC: Cannabis traits unlocked for better regulation

Genome BC
August 16, 2017
Reported By:
Jennifer Boon, Genome British Columbia
MSL in the News

Medical cannabis production is one of the fastest growing agri-biotech industries in BC, a province which is home to over 20% of Canada's licensed producers of medical cannabis. The federal Cannabis Act, which is currently before parliament, will legalize the non-medical use of cannabis and further expand cannabis production and distribution into a regulated, multibillion-dollar industry. However, a major issue for the industry is access to well-defined cannabis varieties, with supporting scientific information on their select traits.

"Hundreds of different small molecules contribute to the chemical composition of cannabis," says Dr. Jonathan Page, Founder and CEO of Anandia Labs. "Currently, the industry grows and supplies many different cannabis strains which vary in their chemical composition and therapeutic properties."

The relevant molecules are those present on cannabis leaves and flowers, which together define the unique pharmacological and sensory properties of different cannabis products. Anandia Labs, in collaboration with renowned genomics expert Dr. Joerg Bohlmann, a Professor in UBC's Michael Smith Laboratories, will develop new ways to identify and reference the genes that produce the select types of cannabis. This will support the development and regulation of cannabis varieties with optimized medical properties... 

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