Marijuana Venture – Eleanor Kuntz & Nathaniel Pennington
Although clones have traditionally been the dominant mode of cannabis propagation, seeds may hold the key to better crops.
In the world of cannabis, much like that of politics, too many males in the field can ruin a whole harvest. For growers who use clones, it’s easy to ensure that the plants you are growing are female, but for those planting from seed it can be trickier.
“A cannabis seed just looks like a seed, but what’s inside is unbelievably important. The genetics that will guide the like and production of the plant,” says Humboldt Seed Company CEO Nathaniel Pennington.
Large-scale producers of hemp or marijuana who use seeds for propagation often have to trust that seed suppliers are honest and the seeds are all truly feminized. But that’s not always the case.
“There was a massive issue with hemp in 2019 and it led to just devastating losses for a lot of family farms, particularly in Oregon,” Pennington says.
This year, Humboldt Seed Company became the first seed company to carry the LeafWorks Feminized Seal, guaranteeing that the seeds in the bag are, in fact, females. LeafWorks is a botanical identification company working in the cannabis space that offers third-party verification.
“we have a huge issue with fraud in botanicals in the global supply chain, so having correct identification is important, especially when you’re talking about high-value plants,” says LeafWorks CEO and co-founder Eleanor Kuntz, adding that last year there was litigation filed over seeds that contained a large percentage of males or were accidentally fertilized. “LeafWorks offers feminization and we’re working with Nat’s organization to certify that all of his feminized seeds, so that everyone knows what they are getting.