USDA's Approval of Low-THC Hemp Variety
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently approved a genetically engineered hemp variety, developed by Growing Together Research (GTR), Inc., designed to produce significantly lower levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Innovative Genetic Engineering
This groundbreaking hemp cultivar shows drastically reduced levels of both THC and cannabichromene (CBC). The genetic modification involved genes from various donor organisms, including plants, bacteria, and a virus, alongside an artificial sequence. These modifications aim not only to lower THC and CBC levels but also to enhance resistance to certain herbicides.
Addressing THC Level Challenges in Hemp Farming
The development comes as a response to the challenges faced by farmers due to the federal THC limit of 0.3%. Previously, crops exceeding this limit required either destruction or costly mitigation processes. This new variety promises to alleviate these issues.
The USDA's Assessment and Future Implications
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) assessed the new variety, finding it safe for multiplication and growth in the U.S., posing no increased plant pest risk.
While this new hemp variety isn't subject to the regulations governing genetically modified organisms' movement, it may still be subject to specific permitting or quarantine requirements.
Broader Impact on the Hemp and Marijuana Industries
GTR's efforts extend beyond developing low-THC hemp cultivars. The company is also exploring ways to increase THC production in marijuana plants, indicating a broader impact on the cannabis industry.
- USDA approves genetically modified hemp with low THC.
- Innovative genetic engineering to address farming challenges.
- Potential regulatory implications and broader industry impact.