New Gene Technology Allows Growers To Boost THC Levels In Cannabis

A.J. Herrington – Jun 22, 2022

Indiana-based biotechnology company Growing Together Research Inc. announced this week that it has developed a new technique to genetically modulate the expression of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis, including the ability to increase levels of the cannabinoid in cultivars grown for recreational or medical marijuana.

In August 2020, GTR partnered with Texas A&M Agrilife Research to develop and optimize protocols for genetic transformation of industrial hemp for commercial purposes. Earlier this year, the partnership revealed it had achieved the first known stable transformation and regeneration of multiple THC-free hemp cultivars. The results included validated gene edits that are expected to eliminate or nearly eliminate production of THC and the minor cannabinoid cannabichromene while boosting expression of cannabidiol (CBD). The transformed cultivars are expected to be ready for market in the fourth quarter of 2022 and are intended to help U.S. hemp farmers manage the risk of their crop exceeding federal THC limits, which often requires the grower to destroy the crop or face serious legal repercussions for cultivating marijuana.

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