Dash’s partnership with Medicinal Genomics (MGC) is allowing a better understanding of the cannabis genome, which is enabling breeders and growers to increase their yields without relying on GMOs by making their plants’ immune systems more robust through other methods.
Dash Force News caught up with Kevin McKernan, the Chief Science Office of MGC, about how their research will aid entrepreneurs. He discussed how pathogens are a significant danger to cannabis breeders and growers since these entrepreneurs will often only have a handful of motherplants that they will clone into offsprings. This improves efficiency and consistence, but will make an entire grow very vulnerable to any pathogens that enter the ecosystem since it will spread very quickly and viciously. To make matters worse, Kevin mentioned how many cannabis growers do not have crop insurance due to the semi-illegal nature of cannabis, which makes diseases all the more financially devastating to breeders and growers. Kevin continued to explain the various methods of disease prevention that currently exist.
The first method is pesticides and harmful chemicals, which is discouraged in the cannabis industry, but due to its long illegal nature, it has nevertheless still been used. Another alternative includes GMOs, but Kevin pointed out the various issues of GMOs in the cannabis industry and even mentioned how it affects property rights.
“GMOs are risky when you don’t [know] the genome you are trying to modify. Too many off target effects can create unintended consequences. GMOs are also not popular in cannabis. Modifying genomes irresponsibly can have negative impacts on other peoples property rights since cannabis pollen can travel 10-50 miles. Your neighbors are soon infected with GMO pollen and anything GMO’d is more patentable since it was human-modified.”
Kevin was referring to Medicinal Genomics’ main goal of mapping the cannabis genome and storing it on the immutable Dash blockchain to prove that various patents on different cannabis strains are invalid. A side benefit of Medicinal Genomics’ research and making the entire cannabis genome known to all parties will enable entrepreneurs to have the knowledge of alternative ways to enhance cannabis’ resistance to pathogens.
Better understanding means better solutions
Kevin soon discussed alternatives like better selective breeding and RNA inhibitors as more effective solutions than GMOs. The research of Medicinal Genomics provides a more complete cannabis genome, which will allow breeders and growers to better understand the genetic makeup of their plant strains. Thus, they will be able to naturally crossbreed more efficiently and effectively to naturally build in resistance to specific destructive pathogens that they deem risky. Kevin said that they have been making testing kits to aid breeders and growers in these efforts. The other solution that Kevin mentioned was RNA inhibitors “where foliar sprays are used to knock the gene expression of certain pathogens down”. This process increases the immunity of cannabis plants, but does rely on significant genome knowledge to know exactly what area to target. This is where the genome mapping by Medicinal Genomics can be utilized to aid the process of targeting specific segments of the plants’ genetic makeup to improve its immunity without relying on GMOs.
Kevin added that once they transfer their cannabis genome map over to the Dash blockchain, they hope entrepreneurs will reference the genome in order to better understand their plants. As more breeders and growers adopt this process and test their own plants, these individuals will be able to network and find each other to crossbreed their plants to achieve the immunity they desire. This will increase their crop yields and thus lower their costs and the final price for end consumers.
Additionally, this ability to properly breed and grow cannabis plants without relying on chemicals or GMOs will reduce the need for testing laboratories, which is often required in many states that are legalizing cannabis within the United States. Since the genome of various plants will be on the blockchain, much of what testing labs would do will instead be verifiable by those who wish to check. This will also eliminate a lot of redundancy in the system and thus create a smoother market and cost savings to be passed onto consumers.
Dash enables entrepreneurial innovation
Dash’s ability to fund, and soon store, Medicinal Genomics’ research of the cannabis genome demonstrates Dash’s ability to be used by entrepreneurs to benefit other entrepreneurs and consumers. The Dash proposal system allows anyone to submit a proposal to request funding from the network, but proposals that best advance Dash are typically the ones funded. This system is further supported by DashBoost for smaller projects, DashDonates for volunteer crowdfunding, and soon Dash Ventures for more ambitious projects. These proposals not only allow Dash to fund its own development to maintain record low transaction fees, fast confirmation times, and security, but also focus on incentivizing consumer adoption with key integrations that improve the lives of current and potential Dash users.
This partnership allows Dash to further expand into the cannabis industry, adding to its Alt Thirty Six partnership, which is seen as a MVP for cryptocurrencies and Dash to prove their value offerings. Dash will now also be able to help breeders and growers create better products in addition to providing consumers and merchants with better payment technology. Additionally, by helping breeders and growers create a better product, it will also be helping consumers and merchant experience higher utility and better prices. Dash is helping innovate within the cannabis sector to demonstrate its innovative capabilities, including its payment technology, to show the cannabis sector and the world that Dash is a decentralized, digital, peer-to-peer currency usable in everyday life.