Wired published an article in its April 2016 issue that has an in-depth look at Steep Hill, a leading provider of cannabis quality assurance, and the broader efforts by the company and others to better understand the genetics of cannabis. Reggie Gaudino, VP of Scientific Operations, leads the efforts on this front and is partnering with the University of Colorado in Boulder to sequence with an Illumina-based genome. The article mentions several other companies working to identify strains scientifically, including Medicinal Genomics, Anandia Labs and Phylos Bioscience. While intellectual property is tough to protect while cannabis remains illegal federally, the research efforts today could pay off when the laws change.
So when someone drops off one of those samples at Steep Hill’s reception, the lab swoops in to quantify 27 of the most prominent of these flavorful, experience-defining molecules. After eight years in business, the company has accumulated and tested thousands of samples—it has stacks and stacks of plant tissue in test tubes in a giant freezer. It has analytical chemistry on those, and thanks to a deal with the marijuana review site Leafly, the company also has thousands of crowdsourced reviews. When it comes to data on weed, Steep Hill is, well, the bomb.
Read Katie Palmer’s “A New Crop of Marijuana Geneticists Sets Out to Build Better Weed”: http://www.wired.com/2016/04/the-science-of-marijuana/