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Old 05-04-2015, 06:39 AM
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Default Rob Clarke International Hemp Association – Projects Manager

Hi Scott,

Greetings from New Zealand. I hope this message finds you in fine health and high spirits. I am writing to invite you to join us in a fascinating opportunity to explore the evolutionary history of our favorite plant – Cannabis. The International Hemp Association is involved in sourcing Cannabis samples for the Phylos Bioscience Cannabis Evolution Project based in Oregon, USA. Presently, the team is building a high-resolution map of the Cannabis genome, based on a modern hybrid THC/CBD strain using next generation sequencing. The map will serve as a reference key for analysis of thousands of other accessions allowing high-resolution characterization of each.

Within six months we will analyze additional modern hemp and drug cultivars, plus traditional landraces, and possibly herbarium accessions and archeological materials. From there on we will add to the live database which will continue to grow as more samples are received although the architecture should not change. Genome data will be studied via network theory to address the issues of hybridization and reticulation in the phylogeny. Although Cannabis is an incredibly varied genus made up of a myriad of local landrace varieties and modern cultivars as well as their feral and wild relatives, this research will generate a huge amount of sequence data spread over many thousands of samples, and we feel confident we can resolve the evolution of Cannabis under domestication.

DNA extraction equipment is installed in nine Cannabis testing labs in six US states, and we continue to gather modern hybrid drug varieties for analysis. As planned, Phylos just completed their initial analyses of over 600 Cannabis flower samples from dispensaries. And, as expected, because of extensive interbreeding within this small portion of the whole Cannabis genome the data appear as a cloud of points with distances between them somewhat indicative of their relatedness, but provide little insight into how they were formed and who their ancestors might be. What we need is to add depth to our study – the third dimension of time, the branches on the evolutionary tree – by including samples from earlier and more diverse origins in Cannabis’s evolutionary history. DNA analysis of seeds and/or leaves from landraces, hemp and drug cultivars, mother plant clones, herbarium accessions, archeological samples, etc. may offer us this opportunity. The IHA is contacting sinsemilla seed companies, hemp breeders, museums, herbaria, and archeologists requesting samples to improve the understanding we will gain from more encompassing research. We hope you will participate in this interesting project.

Participants will receive analyses of each sample they submit as well as a summary of our findings. One benefit to participating seed companies will be establishing the DNA fingerprint of each of their cultivars. One of Phylos’ long-range goals is cultivar identification to determine which amongst several samples analyzed at a later date represent the “real” original cultivar sold by a participating seed company. At this time there is no way to establish breeder’s rights for a Cannabis cultivar to protect that cultivar from being renamed as another variety, or imitated by a different variety bearing the same commercial name. Data from this project will be used in the future to create a variety protection program for Cannabis, a way for sinsemilla seed companies to protect their investments of time and money spent to create seed varieties from unscrupulous competitors.

I am writing to ask if you will supply any of the following types of samples:

The basic building blocks for all present-day sinsemilla cultivars were traditional landrace cultivars mostly made available to domestic growers via seeds from imported drug Cannabis. Seeds and leaf samples from traditional landraces are essential in recreating the evolutionary history of sinsemilla cultivars – they represent the genomes to which present-day cultivars owe their genetic makeup.

There are two types of landrace samples you could provide. First are seeds of the original landraces themselves. We only need a very few seeds to be sure of extracting DNA samples suitable for analysis; and these seeds do not need to be alive and viable as we have no need to germinate them. Dead seeds are useless to growers and breeders, but they still contain valuable genetic information. However, a sample of just a few freshly dried leaves from an original landrace plant (clone) will provide an even better sample source. Hybrids between known imported landraces (ex., Thai X Afghani) can also be used as long as both parents are known, and they are both imported landraces. You may want to submit landrace samples simply to help grow the Cannabis family tree, to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, and provide deeper insights into Cannabis’s evolution.

Another type of sample that will prove valuable to the project will be leaf samples from mother and/or father clones used to make the seeds sold by your company. In the future, these are the samples that will serve as reference points when verifying whose cultivar is the real one. And remember, there is no way the DNA extracted from your cultivars can be used to create another variety. Our research interests are purely for the sake of advancing science.

We hope you will join forces with the IHA and fellow seed companies to assist in advancing our knowledge of Cannabis by participating in the Phylos Bioscience Cannabis Evolution Project. Please refer to the links below to learn more.

Phylos Bioscience Home = Phylos Bioscience
About Phylos Bioscience = About Phylos Bioscience
Phylos Bioscience Frequently Asked Questions = frequently asked questions | Phylos Bioscience
Phylos Bioscience Cannabis Evolution Project = The Cannabis Evolution Project | Phylos Bioscience
Willamette Week article about Phylos Bioscience - January ’15 = Portland Company Phylos Bioscience Is Mapping the Weed Genome for the First Time

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to answer them.

Best regards,

Rob Clarke
International Hemp Association – Projects Manager

"Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner." -Lao Tzu

all the best,
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:54 PM
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Amazing stuff i take that mns will 100% be taking part in these studies!!
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BenPlantin View Post
Original breeders can finally get the respect they deserve and people can be sure of what they are getting.
This IS cool. I have a feeling there are going to be some very uncomfortable breeders out there...and some who don't like what they find even if they were "sure" of the sources.
Blurring the boundaries between plants and animals since '64
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:33 PM
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Hmmm. I'm thinking this isn't as cut and dry as it sounds. What this is really about is patenting cultivars and their genetic profiles. Not gonna be good when it all traces back to landrace that Rob and his Partner Sam originally aquired and patented then sold to GW which is now owned by Bayer.....just enough rope to hang our selves with. Made of hemp and grown by ourselves.
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:18 PM
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well this is something all i need to do is send a email out and ask shanti if he would give his genetic out for the sake of research wow can i have some also shanti. this smells bad i know for the sake of going forward is a great thing but i ask myself if i was in the man's shoe's and look back at all the gardens he has traveled to find these cultivars that we know here that are special that a email would take the man's work and run like hell with this even if you could want to believe this , i could not because of all the times that throughout my life time that i wanted to believe in person word in fact they had more than what meets the eye shanti but i see that down the road the likes of most beeders stock will all be in the hands of the very powerful and you couldn't break there arms or have enough money to pry it from them. this is going to be big and walmart and all the rest of them are waiting to buy all of this out the easy way if you understand me, stay tuned, RJ
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BenPlantin View Post
Hi Pantagruel, when you say "it all traces back" it sounds as if you are suggesting that Shantibaba's original landrace mother and father plants all came from Rob and Sam? My understanding is that is not so.


Shantibaba's genetics are for sale, just head over to the MNS auctions. Understandably you can't buy the mother father parent plants, but.... selection is key

Please re-read Rob's letter...

The way I see it this project by International Hemp Association will protect Shantibaba's and other original breeders years of hard and dedicated work, and additionally any breeders that create new Cannabis strains with any special or unique traits.
Well he uses a lot of Skunk #1 and I'm sure a good amount of Rob Clarkes genetics also some can probably be called knock-offs of Sensi Seeds even cause Nevil sold out to Ben so G13, Haze, Northern Lights, ETC.

But yeah its interesting I'd just talk to a real good lawyer first personally. I don't really trust a man who was complaining about patents in the 80's the only reason for it is money we know who has SSH no need to patent it if he even could.
"When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality"- Al Capone
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pantagruel View Post
Hmmm. I'm thinking this isn't as cut and dry as it sounds. What this is really about is patenting cultivars and their genetic profiles. Not gonna be good when it all traces back to landrace that Rob and his Partner Sam originally aquired and patented then sold to GW which is now owned by Bayer.....just enough rope to hang our selves with. Made of hemp and grown by ourselves.
My HAzey senses don't trust this project either.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:27 PM
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the knowlege is cool, how it is used is another matter entirely.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:04 PM
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I’ve kind of had mixed feelings about this after reading the various threads elsewhere. It would be very interesting to see the relationships of various plants and some form of genealogy thru mapping but in the back of my mind I can’t help but think who is really going to benefit from it. If it betters things for the community as a whole and helps on the medical and legalization fronts I’m all for it. I’m not for anything that would put control of things in the hands of a few.

And I’m all for it being in the public domain but it doesn’t sound like that will be the case.

I’d like to hear Shanti’s take on it…from a breeder’s perspective.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:52 PM
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Why is Phylos sequencing the DNA of all these Cannabis strains?

A few reasons. First we have some scientific questions we just want answered. We want to know how Cannabis has evolved, what its history was like, and how it has co-evolved with humans. And we want to know what domestication does to the shape of evolution.

We also want to understand today’s crazy mix of hybrid strains. We want to know where they came from, why they’re so different, and what makes each one unique.

But the reason that will probably affect most people is that we want to change the Cannabis industry into a modern, legitimate marketplace, where people actually know what they’re getting. We think this is the only way.

Will Phylos make and sell genetically modified Cannabis?

No. Absolutely not.

Will someone else make and sell genetically modified Cannabis?

Maybe. But it won’t be us. And it won’t make much sense to do it, because it is so easy to create amazing strains of Cannabis using traditional breeding techniques.

Will Phylos patent the strains that are submitted? Doesn’t sequencing the DNA of something let you control it or patent it?

We won’t patent the strains that are submitted. We don’t want to, and we couldn’t. Here are a few important facts about patents and plants:

* Sequencing the DNA of something does NOT let you patent it. In fact, after the court cases <>Assoc. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics and <>Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., it is no longer possible to patent naturally occurring DNA sequences at all.

* Cannabis strains cannot be patented, at least not now. To apply for a plant patent you have to declare that you successfully grew your new Cannabis variety somewhere on U.S. soil. The patent office will not grant claims that rest on violations of federal law.

* Intellectual property protection over a plant variety can also be obtained through the USDA Plant Variety Protection Office. But only for plants on their official list. Cannabis is not on that list, and won’t be until it is federally legal.

* Only things that are NEW can be patented. Once something is public and known about, it’s too late. Once something has been sold commercially, it’s too late. Even if Cannabis strains could be patented, all the existing strains are now in the public domain, and will stay there forever. Which is a good thing.

But doesn’t Monsanto want to patent all the Cannabis strains in the world and then make it illegal for me to grow any of them?

Probably. But existing strains can’t be patented.

What will Phylos do with the information it collects from sequencing the DNA of different Cannabis varieties?

We will use it to construct a map of all the different strains. We will publish this and make the data freely available to the research community. The individual data from each sample will also be freely available to the person who submitted it.
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