b'(Photo: GreenSeal Cannabis)HIGH EXPECTATIONSHOW SEED COMPANIES ARE USING STANDARD AND NEW BREEDING TECHNIQUES TO PRODUCE NEW CANNABIS VARIETIES.BY: TREENA HEIN A fter a long period of prohibition in most countries acrosswere less than two years into legalization, so consumers are the world, cannabis is slowly moving on a global scalejust starting to figure out what they want, now that all these towards a regulated legal environment. To produce can- choices are available. Its a welcome development that tastes are nabis varieties for various new medical applications and also forevolving, as it will shift focus to a more rounded and diversified new differentiated recreational products, intensive breeding isset of genetics in the market. underway at companies in Europe, North America and beyond. Having said that, Morphy notes that of the four main can-At Dutch Passion Seed Company in the Netherlands, can- nabis terpene profiles (earthy, fuel, fruity and floral), new con-nabis breeding priorities are equally focussed on characteristicssumers seem to like fruity profiles because they are familiar and related to final consumer products and also production traitstherefore feel comfortable.such as yield. Were working hard on creating new varieties with stableDROUGHT AND DISEASE RESISTANCEhigh percentages of CBD and new cannabinoids such as THCVMost cannabis in Europe is grown in small-scale irrigated sys-and CBG, explains Head of Genetics/Chief Breeder Mahmoudtems and is therefore protected from drought, but Ernesto Llos, Hanachi. We see a bright future for cannabinoid-specific culti- CEO of Hemp Trading Co. in Beniparell, Spain, says he and his vars, both in photoperiod and autoflower versions. team could see cannabis in non-irrigated land in the long-term. Matthias Ghidossi, lead breeder and founder of SwissGhidossi adds that drought resistance is definitely something I Cannabinoid in 2018 in Stabio, Switzerland, is focussed on breed- will be taking into consideration for the future.ing less well-known non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBCHowever, as with any crop, breeding for disease resistance is and CBDV. A main goal, he says, is to market something thatalso important. Llos notes that whilst cannabis is a strong plant nobody else has. and his firm already has some varieties very resistant to disease, Meanwhile, at GreenSeal Cannabis Co. in Stratford, Ontario,we have to be careful about the specific weather conditions in Canada, the breeding focus is on producing varieties for medici- the country where we plant. For example, in Colombia we have nal applications but also those that meet the demands of increas- varieties with high resistance to fungal diseases.ingly discerning recreational consumers. With every passingThe diseases Ghidossi focuses on in Switzerland are Fusarium, day, consumers are becoming a little more knowledgeable andBotrytis, powdery mildew, Sclerotinia and hemp-corn borer. He capable of identifying more nuanced characteristics in how prod- explains that breeding in resistance to diseases is not that complex, ucts taste and smoke, says Lead Breeder Chad Morphy. Mostbut a matter of stress-testing and long-term selection.consumers have so far been focused on label information, whichAt GreenSeal, Morphy says that whilst it hasnt been very often begins and ends with cannabinoid content. In Canada,long (about a year) since Canadian firms have been permitted to 6IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'