State of Washington Issues First Cannabis Medical Research License

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According to a recent article in The Stranger, Seattle-based Verda Bio is the first company in the state of Washington to be issued an official license to conduct cannabis research. The company is going to focus initially on plants that produce  so-called “minor cannabinoids” — lesser known compounds that occur outside of the THC spectrum. These compounds may prove beneficial for future products for the consumer and medical market sectors.

Jessica Tonani, Verda Bio’s CEO, said the company’s first project is a breeding program looking to create plants that produce minor cannabinoids, those rarer and less studied pot compounds. “The first year of the project is going to focus on breeding plants that produce chemicals outside of THC. We’re interested in creating plants that produce chemicals that we can study further,” Tonani said. “We don’t believe that the plants that we want to do research on exist yet.”

In order to qualify for this program, which was set in motion by the state in 2016, Verda Bio had to go through a rigorous review. However, now they are sanctioned to create more strains and breeds of cannabis plants. 

Although this is a promising sign, federal restrictions slow down other potential partnerships because of concerns around any potential ramifications.

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