Genetic code of marijuana to be published

Aug. 18, 2011 at 1:31 PM
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BOSTON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts startup company says it will release the genome sequence of marijuana to promote understanding of its therapeutic potential.

Kevin McKernan, founder of Medicinal Genomics in Marblehead, said the medicinal marijuana industry could use the data to offer new, better kinds of cannabis designed to target patients' specific conditions.

Medicinal Genomics will partner with pharmaceutical companies to explore compounds made by the plant, he said.

"We're out to measure the plant, at a genetic level, so we can put a label on it," McKernan told the Boston Herald Wednesday. "We'll be able to tell people, 'This has this much (cannabidiol) and a couple of other compounds as well.'"

He acknowledged someone might attempt to use the genetic code to grow more potent pot, but says he's only interested in marijuana for its medicinal value.

"The genetics were poorly understood,'" he told The Boston Globe.

"Our goal is to help people."

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