The DNA of Dank

in Culture

Most of the time, when we hear someone talk about cannabis genetics, the first thing that comes to mind is a pack of seeds. But it goes a lot deeper than that, and as cannabis continues to get more and more normalized across America, scientists are beginning to dive even further into the genetic traits that make the heat the heat.

We sat down with LeafWorks to hear the latest in cannabis genomics and how they’re using science to create value for the industry. Ph.D.s Eleanor Kuntz and Kerin Law originally founded the company on the eve of California’s Proposition 64 vote that legalized cannabis for adult use in the Golden State. Kuntz brought the market experience from her work with natural product companies with a global footprint, while Law had just finished her Ph.D. in developing next-generation sequencing methodologies that would harness the power of the tech at more affordable rates.

According to LeafWorks, its primary concern at the moment is cracking the genetic code of cannabis to offer a ton of DNA-based services regarding what plants are being bought, sold, bred, and grown. As they chase this dream, a huge backbone for continuing toward that goal has been the company’s cannabis plant sex tests, which can identify male plants early in the growing cycle.

“I think it’s kind of always been on our radar, but it made sense to do something about it,” Kuntz said of the opportunities at the crossroads of cannabis and DNA testing. “In 2016, when we formed LeafWorks, it was really a more abstract concept at the time where we were looking at it more explicitly through the lens of natural products.”

Kuntz pointed out how big identity is in natural foods markets. She used the metaphor of how …

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Author: Jimi Devine / High Times

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