Cloning may not be the only option for increased marijuana production

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A new scientific breakthrough could lead to better crops

This past January, it was revealed that scientists had figured out how to clone cannabis in order to improve production. That revelation, if cloning is sustainable, could go a long way to helping farmers create more, better crops, but it may not be the only way. Now, horticulture experts are touting the benefits of a different solution to propagate and preserve cannabis genetics.

Plant tissue culture was first introduced to the orchid industry in the 1950s. It refers to a technique that is used to grow or maintain plant cells, organs or tissues under sterile conditions using a blend of ingredients, such as micronutrients, vitamins or activated charcoal, that are able to promote the growth of plant cells. The technique has already been incorporated into major agricultural companies and is now stepping into the cannabis industry.

The process is an expensive endeavor to launch, but the payoffs could be worth it. It can boost productivity, is applicable to different business models and, in the long run, decrease overhead.

Tissue culture is not just for large companies with deep pockets. It can also be extremely beneficial for small growers in order to preserve genetics or in proof-of-concept activity to show how strains can be replicated. The process can yield a significantly higher amount of plants than cloning and the offspring are stronger and more resilient than are the clones, as well. In addition, the amount of space to make tissue culture clones requires less than 10% of the same space as traditional cloning methods.

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