Medicinal Genomics (MGC) is proud to announce it is partnering with a preliminary group of twelve leading cultivators and processors to develop fully-validated, genomics-based safety and quality standards for medical cannabis.
Slight changes to the genetics of a cannabis strain can alter its effectiveness, which can be a significant challenge for patients who rely on a particular strain with a specific cannabinoid and terpenoid profile to treat their condition. When plant genetics vary, which is a common occurrence from crop to crop, patients are at risk of losing symptom relief.
Although some states have enacted testing requirements for yeasts, molds, heavy metals, and microbial contaminants, no specific laws or guidelines have been implemented to enforce genetic consistency of the strains that are used by patients for various medical reasons.
Using technology created by MGC and specifically validated for use with cannabis and hemp, conscientious growers, processors, and third-party testing laboratories are implementing strain verification and stability programs to ensure product safety and consistency. While these programs provide confidence to patients using these strains and strain-based medicines, they also significantly reduce product liability risk for the growers and processors. These programs are also being lauded by doctors and regulators who were previously unaware that genetic variance and effectiveness of cannabis is of significant concern.
“The current industry nomenclature for identifying and characterizing the medicinal benefits of a strain has no consistency, reliability, or association with the quality and/or effectiveness of the product used by patients,” said Kevin McKernan, chief scientific officer of MGC. “With clinically validated Next-Generation Sequencing techniques, we now have the tools to decipher the genetics driving the medicinal properties of cannabis strains used by patients. Furthermore, this information can be linked into a distributed ledger to serve as the basis for claims about intellectual property, branding, and scientific discovery in the advanced breeders market.”
Through MGC proprietary StrainSEEK® service, DNA sequencing is employed to record the unique fingerprint for cannabis and hemp strains into the Bitcoin Blockchain database. This type of genetic registration ensures the consistency, safety, and branding integrity of strains used in the treatment of patients in states where medical cannabis is legal.
“The team at MGC is doing critical work to bring quality, consistency, and reliability into the medicinal cannabis industry,” said Kevin Murphy, managing director at High Street Capital, one of the early partner companies planning to utilize StrainSEEK® for its medicinal cannabis operations and some of its holdings. “Using the most advanced scientific tools to ensure quality and patient safety is essential as we expand our national footprint of high quality medicinal cannabis operations.