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Are F1 hybrid seeds going to save the North American cannabis industry?

Last weekend was, of course, all about the Spannabis event in Barcelona. But before the cannabis trade show started on Friday, March 10, a group of people gathered to learn more about a recent innovation in cannabis genetics. In the morning, Royal Queen Seeds organized a presentation about the launch of their F1 hybrid seeds. "This is not just a special launch for our company. It's a special development for the whole industry," said Shai Ramsahai, CEO of Royal Queen Seeds. Together with Maikel de Bresser and Andreu Franc├ęs from F1 SeedTech, the team wanted to discuss the benefits of F1 hybrid seeds, as well as take away some of the doubts people may have about them.

F1 hybrids are definitely not a new concept, as they have been commonly used for most vegetables for decades. Now, the benefits of F1 hybrids are finally available for the cannabis crop as well. The seeds are supposed to give more uniformity, faster growth, higher flower yield, stronger resistance, and higher cannabinoid content.

Many people showed up to the presentation.

Such benefits are, of course, very welcome to cannabis growers. Maikel even mentions that it might be a great solution for the North American cannabis companies. "Large-scale growers in the U.S. and Canada are struggling, with inefficiency and inconsistency being major problems. If such problems with the starting material would be solved, many challenges would be avoided. Without any mother plants to take care of, the whole process is also much less labor-intensive with seeds. It makes the grower's life easier: they can just focus on the growing part. Overall, we believe the cannabis market is in need of F1 hybrids, as it allows growers to grow more efficiently and consistently. Therefore, in addition to F1 SeedTech supplying the home market with F1 hybrids via their exclusive retailer Royal Queen Seeds, F1 SeedTech focuses on licensed producers of cannabis."

Before the presentation started, everyone could enjoy some breakfast.

Shai concludes that the company believes F1 hybrid seeds will be a game-changer in the industry. "We believe these are the true future for cannabis growers. As a result, we foresee a market that is based on seeds, not cuttings. Tissue culture also has benefits, but it's expensive and more difficult to upscale."

Royal Queen Seeds currently has 8 varieties in their F1 hybrid line. They are expecting more to be launched this year and are working together with F1 SeedTech on powdery mildew-resistant varieties and botrytis-resistant varieties.

For more information:
Royal Queen Seeds