Colorado marijuana biotech partners with California college to study hemp

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A Colorado agricultural biotech that specializes in marijuana said it will partner with a major California agricultural college in a study of hemp.

Front Range Biosciences (FRB) of Lafayette said it made the deal with University of California-Davis “to advance understanding of cannabis for medical and nutraceutical uses.”

“We are now excited to have the opportunity to study the genome of hemp. Decoding its genome will allow us to gain new insight into the genetic bases of complex pathways of secondary metabolism in plants,” said Professor Dario Cantu of the college’s Department of Viticulture and Enology, in a statement.

To pay for the study, FRB said it gave the Regents of University of Californa a “gift” of $150,000 (the first of several phases, according to a spokeperson) that will allow UC-Davis to conduct the research.

“UC Davis is renowned as the leading agriculture university in the world and we are excited to work with Dr. Cantu’s team to improve this crop to reduce pesticide residues and excessive application of fertilizers, in preparation for production targeting medically beneficial compounds,” said Jonathan Vaught, CEO of FRB, in the statement.

Last month, FRB said it raised $3 million in funding to pay for its expansion into California, which was on top of the $1.5 million it said it raised in February.

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