A leaf-free future of cannabis production

In many ways, cannabis culture is a horti-culture. Those who cultivate the plant prize their “green fingers,” the regions that legalize its use are known as “green states,” and all keen cannabis entrepreneurs live by the same motto: “go get the green.” 

But as the cannabis industry grows and modernizes, its future might not be so viridescent. 

In recent years, several high-profile pharmaceutical companies have taken an eager interest in this once clandestine sector. Seeking to co-opt the plant’s cannabinoid compounds into a range of medicines and cosmetics, the companies could be cannabis’ largest endorsers for mainstream commercial acceptance. Except these industrial giants aren’t interested in gardening. 

“I think that is a process to try 100 years ago, but not in the 21st century,” says Patrick Schmitt, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Farmako GmbH, a German pharmaceutical company. 

Back in February this year, Farmako applied for a worldwide patent for its unique cannabinoid-producing process, one that favours microorganisms over marijuana. The company boasts that its bio-bacteria method slashes cannabinoid production costs to one-thousandth of its competitors’ overheads. But, for Schmitt and the company’s other champions, Farmako’s biggest selling point is its modernizing ambition. 

“So there's a high demand for cannabinoids,” he says. “But, for a plant, you need a lot of space, you need a lot of water, you have to build up greenhouses, and you have to cultivate lands under GMP [good manufacturing practices] conditions for medical users. I just think the whole process doesn't match the possibilities we have today from technology.”

Read more at analyticalcannabis.com


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