Today’s cannabis market is experiencing unprecedented growth.
At the same time, consumers expect a consistent product while also demanding diversity.
Technological advancements in breeding programs are helping cannabis producers meet both of these needs.
By engineering and cultivating a base product that is perfectly aligned with specific goals, producers can now satisfy unique objectives of cannabis organizations throughout the industry.
Innovative new techniques in artificial selection, genetics optimization, and data analytics are making it possible for producers to strike a balance between diversity and consistency.
One company taking advantage of this innovation is PacRoots Cannabis.
Based in British Columbia, PacRoots focuses on genetic engineering and optimization in order to optimize the quality of its products, while maintaining high yields and profit margins.
PacRoots is leveraging some of the world’s best cannabis genetics from the largest genetics library in Canada, which is owned by the company’s partner, Phenome One.
Phenome One provides intuitive software platforms that organize and analyze breeding data to help cannabis companies like PacRoots strategically manage their business.
PacRoots uses this genetic data to develop unique strains with a variety of desired characteristics.
For generations, cultivators have been leveraging artificial selection to adapt plants and develop particular traits.
Historically, this practice was mainly used by underground cannabis producers.
Legalization within the cannabis industry has provided access to thousands of cultivars located throughout the world and advanced how the industry perceives cannabis genetics.
By carefully engineering genetics, growers can control the size, color, smell, density and texture of the cannabis buds, and create a unique premium cannabis product.
- Breeding programs begin with the development of a product profile. Several desired characteristics are identified and translated into goals for the final product.
- Next, generations are advanced and pedigrees with genetic variation are created.
Essentially, breeding goals define what characteristics products should include and genetic variation defines how to achieve those characteristics.
It then becomes the breeder’s job to prepare and cultivate plant populations with the appropriate genetic makeup to produce the desired varieties.
Plants are bred to thrive in specific growing environments.
This maximizes the yield of high-quality resilient cannabis.
This is also good news for profitability.
Breeding plants to be more resilient minimizes the cost and labor required.
Then consider the premium price point associated with top-quality cannabis and you have significant potential to improve overall profit margin.
With access to 350 unique cannabis strains that have been analytically assayed and carefully field-tested, and continued development of elite lineages, PacRoots is able to offer unique varieties that focus on specific – and even medicinal – profiles.
At the end of the day, PacRoots produces a catalog with fewer strains that have superior genetic quality and improves its bottom line.
Although artificial selection has been a common practice in farming for hundreds of years, there has been relatively little attention paid to genetic variety in the cannabis industry.
Genetics and systems innovation may very well be the most overlooked considerations when comparing cannabis to other established agricultural crops.
In today’s environment, that is rapidly changing.
Today, genetics optimization and marker-assisted breeding enable producers to customize and optimize the size, smell, color, texture and density of their crops.
The growth of the medicinal cannabis market has highlighted the importance of genetics optimization.
Specific medicinal requirements are driving the need for particular strains of cannabis to produce a variety of outcomes.
Genetics optimization is making this increasingly possible.
The evolving diversity of cannabis strains is essentially creating a new field within the cannabis industry.
Licensed cultivators and researchers are working with product designers to optimize and clone strains to satisfy requirements of unique use-cases.
Imagine harnessing the power of the massive amounts of data being generated during this plant breeding process.
Data analytics companies are doing just that.
Software solutions enable companies and universities to generate better yields, outcomes and plant resilience.
Throughout each stage of the breeding process, these platforms now enable cultivators and researchers to leverage data to achieve specific breeding goals more efficiently.
Breeders can now:
- leverage data to identify insightful trends
- establish and design new breeding trials
- transfer data easily from the field to the system using mobile apps
The technological revolution certainly has not ignored the cannabis industry.
And PacRoots has certainly not ignored the revolution.
The company expects a significant shift in the industry as a result of the global pandemic, with an increased focus on driving efficiency and optimizing yields.
Pac Roots has positioned itself to capitalize on this need, realizing that genetically engineered growing techniques are non-negotiable when it comes to success.
With artificial selection, genetic engineering and data analytics all becoming essential elements within the industry, it will be exciting to see what the future brings.