Genomics research and proper plant breeding practices for nascent industries like cannabis, including hemp, are critical for the efficient and predictable development of plant varieties with commercially valuable traits. These varieties support the large-scale production of consistent, stable, and profitable crops.

Modern-day large-scale agronomic crops have benefited from decades of professional breeding programs to streamline production systems. The success of cannabis and hemp cultivation hinges on similar systems to provide efficient mechanical harvesting and target desirable characteristics like disease and pest-resistance, yield, and performance across different growing environments. This production system ensures a stable supply chain for ingredients derived from these crops and growers’ compliance with federal and state regulations.

Discussion will address how embracing genomics-driven breeding technologies will allow growers in the cannabis industry and beyond to produce reliable, consistent, and profitable crops at scale. Presenter can draw on insights gained from his company’s industry-leading breeding platform for cannabis varieties and their research partnership with UC Davis to map the hemp genome.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understanding of genomics-driven breeding technologies.
2. Gain knowledge of the risks associated with large-scale production and how to mitigate them through breeding processes.
3. Transferring the plant breeding process from other agricultural industries to cannabis and hemp to maintain a strong supply chain and a safe end product for consumers.
4. Learn about the benefits of mapping the cannabis and hemp genomes for growers (current findings from UC Davis research study included).

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