A two-part series in MJBiz highlights the industry’s wariness about big agriculture companies like Monsanto. The piece begins with the saga of Oregon start-up Phylos Bioscience, which solicited genetics from growers and has been criticized for how it plans to use them.

  • In a relatively rare defense of Phylos and its CEO Mowgli Holmes, Reggie Gaudino, of Front Range Biosciences said. “They didn’t steal anything,” he said. “They might not have been completely transparent with their messaging, but nothing else that people are pissed about they should be pissed about.”
  • Gaudino added the industry “screwed ourselves” by selling cuttings in dispensaries. The industry already “screwed ourselves,” by putting cuttings in dispensaries. “All Monsanto or Dow have to do is go to a dispensary and buy everything that everyone’s buying,” he added. “They can [genetically] sequence it themselves, and they’re home free.”
  • Part 2 of the series discusses intellectual property strategies for cannabis companies including defenses against patent trolls, and the possible value of plant patents to protect cannabis companies.

Plus: The WSJ explains how the $63B Monsanto-Bayer merger became one of the most troubled megamergers of recent years. Among other issues, the company owes $190M after losing lawsuits about whether Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide causes cancer. Now an additional 184,000 plaintiffs have sued the company.

Quick Hit

  1. The Chicago Tribune discusses the complications of trademarking weed: “The predicament… is akin to if Frito-Lay were able to trademark Cheetos but not the name of its Flamin’ Hot flavor.”