Cannabis industry professionals Dale Hunt, PhD, JD, Ethan Russo, MD, and Robert C. Clarke have brought together their expertise and joined forces to create the first cannabis company to focus on intellectual property (IP) protection specifically for independent plant breeders and licensing IP for access to markets worldwide. Named Breeder’s Best, the company hopes to bring a global plant-licensing model, proven successful in other agriculture industries, to cannabis.
“We have just begun to scratch the surface of everything that cannabis can do to improve and enhance our lives,” said Dr. Ethan Russo. “That’s what Breeder’s Best will do. Identifying, selectively breeding for and utilizing specific chemical components will truly transform medicine in the coming decades.” Dr. Russo is a board-certified neurologist, preeminent medical cannabis expert, author of more than 50 peer-reviewed medical journal articles and a veteran of GW Pharmaceuticals where he served as Senior Medical Advisor as well as the Sativex® and Epidiolex® clinical trial Study Physician and Medical Monitor.
“I am very excited for the opportunity that Breeder’s Best represents, that being to make cannabis safer and better through the work of cannabis artisans emphasizing organic and regenerative agriculture to produce crops with greater biochemical diversity and a broader range of therapeutic benefits,” Russo added.
The liberalization of global cannabis laws and growing public acceptance of cannabis have created a rapidly escalating demand for cannabis flower, as well as therapeutics and products made with cannabis. According to a report by Prohibition Partners, the international cannabis industry is projected to grow to more than $103.6 billion by 2024.
Doc Ray has been breeding cannabis for more than 40 years in Humboldt County, California in the heart of cannabis country. Doc is known for developing unique and highly medicinal cannabis varieties for specific conditions, which started in 1984 when he developed a plant to help his mother manage the effects of cancer. Since then he has been a caregiver for very sick children and adults developing and growing their medicine. A retired Army Green Berets, Doc has a particularly soft spot in his heart for other veterans and has developed two chemovars to help address symptoms of PTSD which he will license to Breeder’s Best. Doc says, “Breeder’s Best gives me a platform to move from obscurity into the light to ensure that the genetics I’ve developed to help people, actually get to the people who need it on a global scale! The Breeder’s Best platform also, ensures that what I’ve developed is protected and remains available to the world for all future generations.”
Cannabis and Intellectual Property
While the cannabis industry presents significant opportunity, there exists a critical disconnect that separates the creativity of breeders from the markets that are demanding products with unique and proven genetic profiles. Additionally, there is typically very little IP protection to support good partnerships between breeders and cannabis brands. Breeder’s Best will connect these two key stakeholders while legally protecting the genetic inventiveness of breeders.
Breeder’s Best founder and CEO Dale Hunt says, “Our mission is to connect the best Cannabis genetics to the greatest needs and most promising commercial opportunities. To do that, we have assembled an unparalleled team of experts with deep experience at every level of the cannabis supply chain. As the industry matures, Breeder’s Best will be positioned to meet the demands of the increasingly professional and GMP-oriented marketplace while doing business in a way that benefits breeders and directs profitable and reliable business to growers who may otherwise be left behind. With our vision, team, model, know-how, and relationships, Breeder’s Best is poised to become the global leader in patented cannabis genetics and related products.” Dr. Hunt has been practicing IP law for 23 years. He has a PhD in plant cellular and molecular biology and has obtained thousands of patents and plant variety rights for his clients in more than 30 countries.
“Cannabis use is finally normalizing. At Breeder’s Best, we present independent Cannabis breeders the opportunity to protect their unique varieties and assist them in placing those genetics in lucrative markets. This is a great service to breeders who would prefer to focus on the art and science of breeding, instead of dealing with the mechanics of commercialization,” said Breeder’s Best Director of Agronomy and Genetics, Robert C. Clarke. Mr. Clarke is a 40-year cannabis industry veteran, revered for his books Marijuana Botany, published in 1982, and Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany, published in 2013.
The Cannabis plant produces over 450 chemical components, many of which are potentially therapeutic. However, decades of cannabis prohibition have resulted in a lack of genetic diversity worldwide and a predominance of only a small fraction of potential agents.
Breeder’s Best is a privately held Cannabis IP genetics company organized as a B Corporation to demonstrate their commitment to independent Cannabis breeders and to meeting the worldwide needs of patients and consumers for superior products.