Israeli Genetics Firm CanBreed Acquires San Diego Hemp Farm


2020-12-01 22:09:00 Business Times


CanBreed, an Israeli cannabis genetics seed company, announced this week its acquisition of a 3.5-acre hemp farm in San Diego. The company is part of the Smart-Agro R&D Partnership, a publicly traded firm on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Construction of new facilities and greenhouses on the San Diego site is expected to begin early in the new year, with CanBreed selling stable genetics into the market by the end of 2021. Initial output, according to the company, is estimated at 12.5 million seeds annually. CanBreed’s goal runs up to 50 million seeds annually. In September, CanBreed secured a licensing agreement for foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patents held by Corteva Biosciences (MIT) and Broad Institute (Harvard) allowing the company to selectively edit its cannabis plants’ genetic material. In November, the company announced that its genome editing research had led it to a powdery mildew-resistant chemotype. “We want to be world leaders in using CRISPR technology for cannabis,” CERO Ido Margalit told the Times of Israel after signing the CRISPR-Cas9 agreement. “The idea is to sell stable enhanced cannabis seeds to the entire global market.” Two years ago, the European Union declared that CRISPR-edited crops are deemed genetically modified organisms (GMOs), making them illegal to sell. In the U.S., however, shortly after the EU decision, the federal government stepped aside to allow for more product innovation in the agricultural space.   “While these crops do not require regulatory oversight, we do have an important role to play in protecting plant health by evaluating products developed using modern biotechnology,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said at the time.  
以色列大麻遗传种子公司CanBreed本周宣布收购位于圣地亚哥的3.5英亩大麻农场。该公司是Smart-Agro R&D Partnership的一部分,该公司是特拉维夫证券交易所的上市公司。 新设施和温室在圣地亚哥的建设预计将在新年早些时候开始,CanBreed将在2021年底向市场销售稳定的基因。据该公司称,初步产量估计为每年1250万粒种子。Canbreed的目标是每年生产5000万粒种子。 9月,CanBreed获得了Corteva Biosciences(MIT)和Broad Institute(Harvard)持有的CRISPR-Cas9基础专利的许可协议,允许该公司有选择地编辑其大麻植物的遗传物质。11月,该公司宣布其基因组编辑研究使其获得了抗白粉病的化学类型。 CERO Ido Margalit在签署CRISPR-Cas9协议后对《以色列时报》说:“我们希望成为使用CRISPR技术处理大麻的世界领导者。”“这个想法是向整个全球市场销售稳定的增强型大麻籽。” 两年前,欧盟宣布CRISPR编辑的作物被视为转基因生物(GMOs),使其非法销售。然而,在美国,在欧盟做出决定后不久,联邦政府就放弃了这一政策,允许在农业领域进行更多的产品创新。 美国农业部长桑尼·珀杜当时说:“虽然这些作物不需要监管,但我们通过评估利用现代生物技术开发的产品,在保护植物健康方面发挥着重要作用。”