The Cannabis Breeder’s Rights

As hemp and cannabis become legal and mainstream, what's lacking is a licensing framework that specifies what a farmer can do with seeds, clones, tisssue culture, etc. Until now it has been undefined the rights conferred by a breeder or grower to a farmer regarding seed saving, breeding, cloning, resale, etc. The Cannabis Breeder’s Rights is a licensing schema for hemp and cannabis genetics.

Legalization and normalization is long overdue but as the plant spreads let’s not forget those who worked to create the cultivars we enjoy today. It all begins with the plant amd seeders’n’breeders need control over their genetics in the marketplace.

This issue will only loom larger as time goes on now that corporate interests have entered the market. Stop and think about the transition from selling 10 packs of regular seeds for $120 with deliberate genetic variation to foster “pheno hunting” to a mass market that wants genetically stable feminized seeds sold by the pound. For cheap.

At Hempfest during a panel on “The Future of Strains”, DJ Short expressed concern about people taking his genetics and releasing projects that he and others were locked out of. He feared being denied acccess to his own genetics. Upon hearing DJ’s wish list Jerry Whiting proposed a Creative Commons-like solution which begat The Cannabis Breeder’s Rights.

“Can I add to that please. This really struck a bell for me because I'm curious about this whole phenomemena unfolding as it is. I have no intent; I don't want to own my strains. I don't want to patent it. But my biggest fear is that someone else will take my work and prevent me from working with it. And I see as the only solution to this is to make all of this public domain and open source.” [ 38:46 mark ]

Cannabis Breeder’s & Bioethics Panel Discussion, 2020

Jerry made the Cannabis Breeder’s Rights the subject of a column in Northwest Leaf April 2019 titled Breeders and Seeders: it all begins with the plant (PDF).