First cannabis research lab in Washington now open

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States around the country are finally beginning to take marijuana research seriously

A biotech firm out of Washington State is the latest to join a growing list of companies that are concentrating on marijuana research. Verda Bio in Seattle is the state’s first company to receive a cannabis research license and is now ready to tackle a number of questions related to marijuana and its effects on the body and how to extract certain compounds that have been proven more effective in combatting illnesses.

Targeting the latter concern, the company, led by CEO Jessica Tonani, will breed certain cannabis plants to enhance compound production. Among the compounds it will concentrate on are THCV, CBC, CBDV and CBG. All are rare cannabinoids that have been shown to have specific medical benefits not found in other cannabinoids.

Asserts Tonani, “We’ll be one of the only growers in the state that’s growing male plants. But we’ll take a female and male plant that maybe produces certain compounds at low levels, and we will breed them, produce seeds, and select the seeds that have a little bit higher content of whatever compound it is we’re looking at.”

Tonani expects the cannabis research climate to change in the near future, at least on a federal level. She also expects Verda Bio to be the model for future research endeavors that will allow the industry to grow and provide the level of studies needed to accurately define the marijuana industry. She adds, “We were first and we had questions about how to do it, and I think the LCB [Washington Liquor and Control Board] had questions, too. Boxes that didn’t exist when we filled out the paperwork are probably going to be on the paperwork in the future.”