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University of Guelph doing weed research

It was one of only eight academic institutions from across Canada to get a unique license from Health Canada, that will allow researchers to cultivate weed
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The University of Guelph is one of only eight academic institutions from across the country to get a unique license from Health Canada, that will allow them to cultivate weed.

Max Jones, an assistant professor in the department of plants and agriculture says the university received its license to cultivate marijuana on September 19th.

"My research lab focuses on plant tissue culture and biotechnology. Moving forward, I think the university will need to apply for a license with a broader scope to allow us to grow them to full maturity."

He says they are trying to learn about the unknowns associated with different marijuana crops.

"In most crops, we have a lot of technologies that we kind of take for granted, that have been developed over decades. Due to the history of cannabis, most of these technologies have not been developed, and so there are a lot of gaps in our knowledge."

Jones says legalization puts Canada in a unique position to do research.

"We have an opportunity to really take a leading role and establish a good foothold in the industry, internationally. So by doing research, we will be able to advance the technology, and we will be able to train people to keep the industry competitive in the long run."

He says their research is focused on biotechnology. 

"The technologies can be used to mass propagate clean plant material. So what that means is we can mass propagate plants that are free of insects and disease because we are using a sterile environment. So this is really important in the cannabis industry because they are very limited in the pest control methods. So the best way to produce clean plants, is to actually start with clean plant material."

The University of Guelph is hoping to raise $20 million dollars to create a brand new facility, called the Guelph Centre for Cannabis Research.

You can make a donation here.


Aastha Shetty

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